2012 International Student Orientation Peer Leaders

Fatima Fettar

Class: 2013

Major: Middle-Eastern Studies & Religious Studies

Home City: I was born in Casablanca, Morocco; raised in Northern Virginia  

Campus Involvement: Swastha Nepal, Middle-Eastern Studies Club, Arabic teacher assistant, Academic Peer Advising, International Orientation, Reves Center summer student assistant, Summer Enrichment Program teacher assistant

Why I Chose W&M: Besides the obvious reasons, I knew I wanted to pursue a career on an international level, so I chose W&M because of its focus on international learning through various academic programs, emphasis on study abroad, and interaction with international students and people from all walks of life.

Three Unusual or Unique Things About Myself: I’ve had a life-long fascination with anything South Asian: Bollywood, sarees, and most importantly: elephants; I’m a huge FC Barcelona fan; and I’m a polyglot—I speak Arabic, French, Spanish, some Berber and I’m attempting to learn Hindi/Nepalese for my trip to Nepal.


Jessica Roffenbender

Class: 2013

Major: Finance, with a Sociology minor

Home City: Fairfax, Virginia

Campus Involvement: Alpha Phi Omega, Campus Escort Safety Service, Alma Mater Productions

Why I Chose W&M: What I love about W&M is that W&M is a complete college town. With a ton of colonial history thrown in. I love that when I’m on campus, it’s a real campus, full of students and college traditions. But at the same time, I can leave at the drop of a hat and head home to D.C., take a trip to NYC, or study abroad in Southeast Asia, which is what I’m doing this winter break.

Favorite Spot On Campus: In the business school there is a financial markets room filled with double monitor computer screens, which is great because I can do my work on one screen and watch the hockey game on the other. I’m not exactly sure how productive I am on the work screen, but it’s still a pretty sweet set up.


Alyssa Zhu

Class: 2014

Major: Marketing

Home City: Acton, Massachusetts.

Campus Involvement: Hall Council, Student Assembly, Student Alumni Council, International Relations Club, Apolis, College Partnership for Kids

Three Unusual or Unique Things About Myself: I wore 101 t-shirts as an attempt to break the world record for Most Number of T-Shirts Worn, I am probably one of the clumsiest people you will ever meet; once I was looking down, texting my friend and not paying attention and walked head on into a pole in the Caf. Needless to say, I was so embarrassed.  I love planning events- I will be that girl planning your wedding… just for fun.

Favorite W&M tradition: There’s so many! But I think my favorite is Opening Convocation. It’s so exciting for both freshmen walking through and upperclassmen cheering them in. I love that it celebrates the new school year.


Will McConnell

Class: 2014

Major: Government

Home City: Although I am a native of Boston, MA, I lived most of my life in Catania, Italy and Palm Beach County, FL. 

Campus Involvement: On campus, I am involved in various groups and organizations.  I am a Senator for my class, and I am the Vice President of Outreach of Virginia 21, a student advocacy group.  Furthermore, I am a brother of Kappa Alpha Order and a member of the International Relations Club.  Amongst all of those commitments, I also work at the Reves Center for International Studies as a student assistant, and I am involved in International Orientation as a Peer Leader.

Why I Chose W&M: Many people will tell you that they chose W&M for a variety of reasons that range from its academic curriculum to the history of this great institution.  But the main reasons why I chose W&M over other colleges are two.  First of all, I love squirrels, and this place abounds of squirrels.  Secondly, I was intrigued and fascinated to learn that, before Christmas break, the president of the school dresses up as Santa Clause and reads to a crowd of eager students ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’.

Favorite W&M Tradition: Yule Log ceremony.  A few weeks before Christmas, W&M students gather in the Wren courtyard and listen to the president read ‘How the Grinch stole Christmas’.  Then, after marching around the Wren building, students enter the great hall and throw springs of holly into the fire. Yule Log always makes me feel like I attend Hogwarts.


Linda Baysore

Class: 2014

Major: International Relations, with a Chinese minor

Home City: Muncy, Pennsylvania, but along with being a US Citizen, I am also a citizen of Panama and of Nicaragua

Campus Involvement: Vice President of the Korean American Student Association, Historian of the Vietnamese Student Association, and member of the Residence Hall Association

Favorite Local Restaurant:  This would definitely have to be the Cheese Shop.  The prices aren’t bad and the sandwiches are always good.  I also really enjoy walking around the store and looking at the different items that they have for sale, like their teas and pastas.  My favorite sandwich is Turkey on Wheat Bread with Havarti Cheese and House Dressing.  ALWAYS get the House Dressing!

Favorite W&M Tradition:  This isn’t an official W&M tradition, but it definitely should be!  I think all students should go on a ghost tour of campus and Colonial Williamsburg.  The campus will look and feel like a totally different place afterwards!  You may even gain increased respect for President Reveley and his wife when you hear the stories about their house.  It’s definitely an experience that everyone should try!


Laura Brond

Class: 2013

Major: Economics major, with a French minor

Home City: Forest Hill, Maryland

Campus Involvement: Vice President of William & Mary’s chapter of Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity; involvement in the Conversation Partner Program, the Photography Club, and Relay for Life

Favorite Spot on Campus: I really enjoy sitting at the dock and amphitheater at Lake Matoaka. It is very quiet and peaceful down there, so it has served as a great place for me to go to read a book, take a nap, or just look at the water and unwind from a busy day. Plus, that’s where a lot of fun campus events take place, such as Movies at Matoaka and the fall concert!

I’m Inspired By: The other students on this campus. Watching students achieve their goals, go after what they want, and accomplish remarkable things, from creating beautiful literary magazines to starting new organizations and movements on campus, is something really special. These students who aren’t afraid to chase their dreams and leave a mark inspire me to be all that I can be and to take advantage of new opportunities.


Samantha Forsyth

Class: 2015

Major: Government and History

Why I Chose W&M: My parents and I love to travel, especially in our motorhome.  When I was 11, we travelled across America and found ourselves in Williamsburg.  We immediately fell in love with the town and knew we had to come back.  We continued to return to Williamsburg for the next 6 years and as I got older, I began to notice W&M was different than all of the schools back home.  Once I realized that W&M offered me everything I was looking for in a university and a true, small college experience, I knew it was the perfect fit for me!

Favorite Class: Roman Civilization. During registration, I nervously watched all of the slots to my desired (and back-up) classes fill up.  Frantically trying to find a class and by a stroke of luck, I stumbled upon a class fulfilling 2 GERs that fit with my schedule.  I was apprehensive about the class at first, but as the semester continued, I found the material increasingly interesting.  The knowledge I gained during the semester enhanced my appreciation for and experiences in both Rome and Pompeii earlier this summer. By not getting the classes I originally wanted, I ended up taking one of my favorite classes at W&M so far.  If you can, definitely take this class!


Joshua Layne

Class: 2015

Major:  Government and French

Home City:  Richmond, Virginia

Campus involvement:  ΣΑΕ Fraternity, Intramural Soccer and Volleyball

Why I Chose W&M: I felt like I was at home the moment I stepped out of the car and onto campus.  The people here were so friendly when I toured the grounds for the first time.  I applied here and to three other schools, and I absolutely loved the atmosphere.

Favorite W&M Memory So Far: Returning to campus after winter break to get the biggest hugs from all of my friends.

Isabella Yunyu Liu

Class: 2015.

Major: International Relations and Finance

Home City: Originally from Anqing, Anhui in Southeastern China

Campus Involvement: Executive Board of the Undergraduate Public Policy Club and the Tribe Consulting Club. Member of the Ballroom Dance Club. I am currently studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, and will be returning to Beijing for my summer internship in financial journalism.

Why I chose W&M: Unique historical background and the closely-bonded community of the student body (“the Tribe” as we call it). Inspired by female politicians Margaret Thatcher and Aung San Suu Kyi, I would be very glad to devote myself to foreign affairs and international financial cooperation.


Amanda Morrow

Class: 2014

Majors: Government and German Studies

Home City: Princeton, Illinois. Dual citizen of New Zealand and the USA

Campus Involvement: W&M Choir, W&M Greek Life (and the Panhellenic Recruitment team), Phonathon, Student Assembly, German Teaching Assistant, Resident Assistant, Development Ambassadors, Academic Peer Advising

Favorite W&M Memory So Far: One of my favorite things about the College is the W&M Choir. I joined as a freshman and it was one of the first groups to truly embrace me, a freshman who came in knowing literally nobody. I was lucky to have this group of 40 or so members who had been in the choir “friend” the new members on Facebook, take us to IHOP, and just show that they are generally excited to see us. On a campus that can initially seem big and anonymous, they showed us that this campus is a community. Anyway, I happened to join the choir during a year that they do their international tour. For two weeks after commencement, the 60 members of the choir and the members of the Botetourt Chamber Singers toured Italy and Greece. That trip helped me remember why I chose W&M, that these people are a group of fascinating and talented individuals who help to shape my experience and I will help to shape theirs.

Who Inspires Me: The person who inspires me the most is Henry David Thoreau. He has his critics, but I admire his conviction and my favorite quote of his comes from Walden, and he says, “I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.”


Ruoyan Sun

Class: 2013

Major: Economics and History

Home City: Shanghai, China

Campus Involvement: Sharpe Scholar, Club volleyball

Favorite Class: I took Feminist Theory with our Womens Studies department last semester and think it’s the best class I have ever taken at W&M. This class is really eye opening and opens a new door of approaching different social issues to me.

Proudest Moment:  I guess I am a little TWAMPy since my proudest moment is when I get an A on my history paper. I am not a native English speaker, so the decision I made to become a history major really gave me a hard time at the beginning. As time goes on, I have progressed a lot. But still, history professors can be really picky sometimes. Getting an A on a paper from them is like fighting a war, and the recognition from the professor makes all the effort worth it.


Clarissa Santoso

Class: 2015

Major: Biology, with a Dance minor

Home Country: Philippines

Citizenship: Indonesia

Campus Involvement: Filipino-American Student Association (FASA)

Favorite Class: I love to dance. I’ve been dancing since the age of 6. Both semesters my freshman year, I took 2 technique classes and a choreography/performance class.

Favorite Local Restaurant: Wasabi!  It’s difficult to find jasmine rice on campus and Chinese delivery can be quite expensive. Wasabi offers an all-you-can-eat Asian buffet complete will a variety of sushi, Mongolian, Chinese cuisines, etc.


Caroline (Carie) Mullens

Class: 2015

Major: Hispanic Studies, with a Business minor

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Campus Involvement: Social Sorority, Tour Guide

Three Unusual Things About Myself: 1. Although a proud Dallasite, I grew up in a tropical town in Mexico known as Tampico, Tamaulipas! 2. I love cheese! One time in Paris, France, I walked right up to a guy in a cheese shop and told him “J’aime le fromage!” We became friends. 3. My favorite word is bubbles.

Favorite Local Restaurant: The Cheese Shop of course! Although misleading, people typically do not come to this place to test out the different aromas and tastes of foreign cheeses. The Cheese Shop is kind of one of William & Mary’s unofficial traditions. Every student loves to trot on over to the shop and buy a sandwich or better yet, bread sticks and house dressing! It’s a must.


Qingmei Li (Melody)

Class: 2015

Major: Undecided

Home City: Beijing, China

Campus Involvement: Capital K International, Chinese Student Organization, The Flat Hat

Why I Chose W&M: Lovely campus

What’s Playing on my iPod/MP3 Player: Under the Water by The Pretty Reckless


Matthew Paganussi

Class: 2014

Major: History, with a minor in Italian Studies

Home City: Oakton, Virginia

Campus Involvement: William & Mary Student Assembly (Class Senator), Beta Theta Pi

Favorite Class: African Diaspora Before 1492 with Professor Pope, or Global History Since 1500 with Professor Schechter

Proudest Moment: Being elected Senator for the Class of 2014 on the William & Mary Student Assembly

About International W&M

The Reves Center for International Studies promotes, develops, and supports the global dimensions of learning, teaching, research, and community engagement at the College of William & Mary
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