Hobart and William Smith Colleges - HWS Celebrates International Students
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HWS Celebrates International Students

Recently, HWS celebrated international students on campus. The event was held in conjunction with colleges in the NY6 Liberal Arts Consortium.

At HWS, international students are student leaders, thriving in the classroom, on athletic teams and in our campus community. On March 31, HWS celebrated their accomplishments and contributions to creating a globally minded living and learning environment.

International students received special swag. They also painted their country’s flags on a dedicated window display in the Scandling Campus Center.

Associate Vice President and Director of International Student Enrollment and Success Marylyn O’Hora Uhnak says that despite all of the challenges in the past year, international students have persevered on campus. “Travel restrictions, embassy closures, time zone challenges and COVID-19 have made this academic year challenging for the international community at HWS and throughout the world. This day is an opportunity for us to recognize our students so they know how much we appreciate their contributions to our community,” she says.

International students at HWS currently hail from 36 different countries. They are from Albania, Bangladesh, Barbados, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Viet Nam.

“We recognize that people have multiple identities and international can be viewed in a lot of different ways,” Uhnak adds. Beyond the F-1 and J-1 Visa holders, we also celebrate those students who hold U.S. citizenship but live outside the United States and/or are dual citizens.

In the past year, HWS has shone a spotlight on international students excelling in their fields. Here are excerpts of their accomplishments.

Tenzin Tonten ’23

Tenzin Yonten ’23

Tenzin Yonten ’23, who is from India, is a double major in English and Asian studies. Engaged in campus life, he is the secretary of Hobart Student Government, the editor of the literary magazine Thel, and specializes in campus relations for the Campus Activities Board. He is also a member of Pride and South Asian Student Association, among other clubs. Yonten says he chose to study abroad to expand his worldview.

“I always want to learn about a culture from within,” he says. “When you’re somewhere new, you have to juggle a lot of things. It makes you into a better global thinker, which is something I aspire to.” Recently, Yonten received the ASIANetwork Fellowship to conduct research in Tokyo, Japan. Read more about his fellowship here.

Saima Mashori '22

Saima Mashori ’22

Last summer, the international relations major Saima Mashori ’22 completed a fellowship with Beyond the Bomb in Washington, D.C. She landed the internship after attending the Day on the Hill event facilitated by the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education, which connected her with alums working on law, policy and advocacy on Capitol Hill. From Pakistan, Mashori is a residential assistant, and a student worker in the William Smith Dean’s Office and the Office of Admissions. In addition to serving as a Civic Leader in the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, she is the co-treasurer for the South Asian Student Association and an active member of William Smith Congress. Read more about her internship here.

Vuthy Vey '24

Vuthy Vey ’24

Due to coronavirus restrictions, Vuthy Vey ’24 has attended HWS from his home in Cambodia. While he has juggled an immense time difference, he has forged connections with HWS faculty and begun to advance his knowledge of computer science and entrepreneurship.

“I knew I wanted to study in the United States to lay down my foundation in the sciences and to learn more about the country’s culture. Tech companies grow quickly in the U.S. and I want to know why. When my counselor told me about HWS, I was impressed by the entrepreneurial programs. They really triggered my interest.” Learn more about Vey’s journey to HWS here.

Sreyan Kanungo '23

Sreyan Kanungo ’23

Economics major and debate champion Sreyan Kanungo ’23 learned about HWS by watching HWS debaters outperform their competition on national and international stages. From Bangladesh, Kanungo quickly made waves in the collegiate debate circuit. At the United States Debate Championship, he and his debate partner became the second ranked novice team at the competition. He finished both in the top six teams at the Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking tournament, and as a semifinalist during the tournament’s Youth Debate Open. Read more about his debate wins here and here. Kanungo is a member of the International Student Association.

HWS international students are also proud Herons and Statesmen athletes. William Smith Basketball player Stavriana Dimitrakopoulou ‘21, from Greece, recently scored seven points against St. John Fisher. Hobart Hockey player Artem Buzoverya ’24, from Ukraine, recently helped his team defeat Skidmore College 4-1 by making two assists. Hobart Lacrosse player Jason Knox ’22, from Canada, was one of only 55 players named to the 2021 Tewaaraton Watch List.

In the photograph above, students paint flags of their home countries.