Your Favorite Tufts Moment 2006
With the school year winding down, students take the time to share images of the moments that, for them, represent the Tufts experience.
Meena Bolourchi (A'08)
At the end of the semester last spring, Meena Bolourchi was enjoying a warm, sunny day with her friends, relishing the successful completion of her freshman year. That feeling of joy, accomplishment and relief was one that the sophomore, equipped with her ever-ready camera, saw fit to capture in a photograph.
"I was like, 'It's sunny and it's green and all my friends are here, why don't we take a picture?'" she recalls. "It's a combination of all your friends being there and celebrating. It's a moment that brought us all together."
For Bolourchi, who keeps busy as a pre-med major and a member of the Ballroom Dance Team and the Persian Students Association, this photograph represents what she likes the most about Tufts: the strong relationships that she has formed.
"I really like the community," she says. "I have a lot of really close friends and I really cherish that. My picture really reflects that."
Ethan Danahy (E'00, G'02)
When you ask Ethan Danahy what it means to be a Jumbo, he has plenty to judge it by-he is currently pursuing his third degree from the School of Engineering, a doctorate in electrical engineering. For Danahy, being a Jumbo means being a part of something bigger than himself. That is largely due to the community he entered as an undergraduate on the cross-country and track and field teams.
"What I like about sports and especially that group is that you arrive on campus as a freshman and you don't know anything about anything, and here's a group that was instantly a new family and very welcoming," he explains.
This photograph shows the Alumni Cross-Country Race, an annual fall event in which the current cross-country team races against the alumni. The race pictured in the photograph was the 10th that Ethan has participated in. Danahy says now that he is an alumnus of the team and still living with two of his former teammates, not only have the bonds that he formed with the team been sustained, but an even greater connection exists.
"[The bond] extends beyond that to people I've never even met and that I don't know," he explains. "We all have the Tufts connection, but here we have not only the Tufts connection, but also the running connection, so it's an even stronger bond."
Rachel Geylin (A'08)
Last August, Rachel Geylin found herself standing on a bridge in the northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica, straddling the divide between the Serbian and Kosovar Albanian sections of the city. She was traveling in the embattled Balkan province with her fellow photographers from Exposure, a human rights-oriented photojournalism group. While the soldiers were armed with guns, she was armed with her camera.
"It was actually about six years ago right now, so Spring of '99, when NATO troops came in and bombed the Serbian strongholds to stop this fighting," says Geylin, an international relations and Spanish major. "So, here I am on this bridge in the post-war zone which is still very tense."
Just a sophomore, Geylin has already immersed herself in a globally conscious education here at Tufts. Beside her involvement with Exposure, she also teaches English as a Second Language to immigrant populations. The trip to Kosovo was her first journey outside the United States, and this photograph was taken on her first day there. For her, that moment embodies the global perspective she has embraced at Tufts.
"That's what Tufts is. It's about studying abroad and getting those experiences," she explains. "And here I am getting that international perspective in every way."
Anjali Nirmalan (A'09)
A snowball fight broke out on the Residential Quad this past April Fool's Day, with freshman Anjali Nirmalan in the thick of the action. But it wasn't a spring blizzard. Rather, it was the celebration of Holi, a festival marking the arrival of spring, sponsored by the Hindu Students Council.
"They did a really good job," recalls Nirmalan, a freshman in the dual degree program with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. "The entire Res Quad was covered with little bags of colored dye and water balloons and spray bottles. And basically they gave a two-minute explanation of Holi and said 'Go,' and people were just running all over the place and screaming and throwing."
Befitting her status as a writer/photographer for the Tufts Daily and member of Exposure, a human rights-oriented photojournalism group, Nirmalan carries her camera with her everywhere. What she sought to capture this day was not only how much fun her fellow students were having, but the diversity of people participating.
"I was really excited by the fact that when I got there, half of the people there weren't Indian," she says. "I love the idea of all these people coming together from all these different backgrounds to really get into something that was from one culture, but had been opened up."
According to Nirmalan, that type of cross-pollination isn't limited to just one moment or one event at Tufts. "I love that Tufts is not isolated," she explains. "Every single meaning of the word isolation, Tufts is the opposite of, whether you look at it being in a suburb but connected to the city, or you look at it as people segregating themselves by class or race, it just doesn't happen."
Andrew Tung (A'09)
Early one February morning, after a long night of studying, Andrew Tung went for a head-clearing walk around campus, camera in tow. The scene he encountered at the Tisch Library, while at first appearing ordinary, spoke volumes to the freshman.
"When I looked over, I noticed that the sunlight was causing the entire side of Tisch to be glowing red, and it was the first time I had seen something that illuminated," recalls Tung, a prospective theater major who recently acted in a production of Stephen Sondheim's "Passion" and builds sets in the scene shop. "That's when I took out my camera. I thought, 'I need to have this picture,' because the image of the red rosy stone against the still fairly dark blue sky, I just thought that it was a beautiful image."
For Tung, that moment sealed his appreciation for the beauty of the Medford/Somerville campus, a feeling that has only grown with the advent of spring.
"This time of year, seeing the campus in bloom like this, is one of my favorite things," he explains. "I've come to really love the campus as a whole-the people, the entire experience."
Profiles written by Carly Burdick, Class of 2009
Photos courtesy of the students.
This story originally ran on May 8, 2006.