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Freshmen Representative Candidates



Name: Gabrielle Raymond

Major: Political Science & Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

I love adventuring outdoors and finding new places to go and explore. I am very interested in the women's rights movement, so in my free time, I love reading books about both the first major feminist movement and more modern books like "Bad Feminist" by Roxanne Gay and "The Beauty Myth" by Naomi Wolf. I also enjoy the discussion, and I love debating and looking into both sides and breaking down the arguments. But most importantly, breaking down both sides to come to a common ground that is acceptable for everyone.

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I firmly believe that my history has made me qualify to be a leader. I come from a family with heavy conservative and religious views, but I find myself on the far left of the political spectrum with very little religious affiliation. I have never been afraid to challenge preconceived beliefs about people, which can be seen in my immense interest and action throughout my high school's affinity groups for political action in women's rights, activism for POC, the LGBTQ+ community, and for the equity of all Americans besides their differences. I am always a listener, but I, more importantly, can speak out when injustices occur and I am always willing to help and defend people, which is why I am on the Pre Law track as well. 

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I believe I will work well within SA as a freshman representative because I love collaborating with others for a greater cause. My ultimate dream down the end of the line for me is working in the White House, and while this is clearly a bit different, I think large scale dreams such as this are amazing because big ideas and dreams can always become a reality. With this in mind, being a part of SA would give me an opportunity to promote both large and small scale changes that my peers hope for and dream of. I believe that, as a part of SA, I can promote inclusion for everyone here at UMD and make sure that we are giving everyone on campus a college experience they deserve no matter who they are or identify as.








Name: Will Just 

Major: History

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

I have several passions in life that include cooking, music, and travel. I love to cook and figure out new recipes, and I enjoy cooking for different people. In addition I am a history junkie, enjoy talking about politics, and am involved in the pre law program

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

 really care about my peers and want to see them happy. I like finding people that I would not normally interact with and figuring them out.

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

 

I work well with other people and am pretty easy going. I live for change for the better and to seek to help people.  I'm really interested in the process of getting bylaws and resolutions active.





 

Name: Zakaria Jamari

 

Major: Undeclared

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

I like to be active because it calms me down. I play sports such as volleyball and soccer. Fun Fact: I am joining the volleyball club. I also enjoy meeting and conversing with new people.

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I am qualified to be a leader amongst my peers because I was selected as the treasurer of the student council at my high school due to my communications skills.  My role as a treasurer I handled the financial needs of the council and oversaw the budgeting. I speak up when I need to confront a situation. 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

As a freshman representative, I would gain the experience of working with the student association as well as connecting with my peers and class. Also, I come from a diverse background, and I can bring new ideas and perspectives. It will enhance my leadership skills and as well as becoming more open-minded. 





Name: Jordyn Stroup

 

Major: Business Marketing

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

I love being outdoors, some of my favorite things to do are hiking, being on the lake, or playing outdoor volleyball. I also love traveling, I went to Peru in 2018, and I hope to study abroad in Europe soon! I graduated from Shanley High School in Fargo, ND where I was involved in Service Club (aka Key Club), volleyball, track and field, student government, yearbook, and National Honor Society. 

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I participated in Student Government throughout high school as well as being an athletic captain for varsity sports. I also was the secretary of our NHS chapter. I enjoy being a part of a group that advocates for the whole student body. I thoroughly enjoy coordinating events and am passionate about coming up with solutions to problems around campus.

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I will work well as a freshman rep because I enjoy working with others to formulate solutions that will benefit the community. I love contributing ideas that I have and listening to other's ideas that they have! I am a very organized person who likes to get stuff done efficiently and in the best way possible. I am excited about the possibility of being a representative for the Class of 2023!










Name: John Zheng

 

Major: Organizational Management BBA

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

I love spending time with friends and going on adventures around Duluth; rock climbing, ziplining, hiking, and reading are some of my favorite activities when I’m not occupied with obligations. I enjoy meeting new people and building new relationships around campus. 

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I’m currently the State Executive Vice President of MN Business Professionals of America (BPA), and have held numerous offices including District President of Lions Clubs International 5M5 (Leo Division), Student CEO at Minnesota Business Venture, President of Champlin Park High School (CPHS) Leo Club, President of CPHS Jefferson Award’s Students In Action, and President of CPHS BPA Club. I’ve raised $5,600 for nonprofit organizations and have volunteered 727 hours throughout my high school career. I’ve received 14 national awards/recognitions, including National Student of the Year (BPA), in the areas of leadership, business, and service.



Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

Serving students and members of different organizations has always been a passion of mine and I will continue to do so as a freshman representative to voice the student body. I believe my competencies in leadership & teamwork, communications, and collaboration will be very useful to help me engage with SA to lead and execute projects and events. I love helping to create change around my community and would be privileged to have the opportunity to better students’ lives during their time at UMD.






Name: Parker Schultz

 

Major: Business Marketing

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

I love to do any outside activities and am open to trying new things, which is big here in Duluth.  I love to play or watch most sports, mostly golfing (I know, it's boring sometimes). I am proudly part of the BizDogs living community.

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I have had past leadership opportunities both in and outside of my high school career. I was a multiple sport athlete in high school and took leadership roles my last couple of years to be a leader for younger people. I also was a leader in a mission trip called Appalachia Service Project, where we helped rebuild homes in the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky. 

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I'm a very open person, as I love to hear others opinions on certain topics, and can always find a way to agree with the topic in hand. I'm also a person who likes to get serious things figured out and wants them perfect. I feel as if I can represent our class of 2023 very well and help bring their voice to issues if needed.

Name: Vito Bortolotti

 

Major: Political Science

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

 My hobbies include collecting antiques, learning and debating about history and politics, along with reading. I enjoy attending sports games such as Hockey and Football and participating in Pep-Band at these games and community events with my friends. During the summertime, I docent (provide tours) at my local history museum which I have been doing for four years now. My end goal is to be a Museum Curator and I am currently pursuing the Museum Studies Certificate.

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I have been involved in organizations such as DeMolay, where I have held the positions of Secretary as well as Senior and Master Councilor; and Boy Scouts being both assistant and Senior Patrol leader. During my Boy Scout career I have attained the Eagle Scout Rank. In both groups I have organized and carried out events such as fundraisers, set up local festivals and donating portions to charity organizations like the Special Olympics and the local food pantry. I have also taught portions of merit badges and safety courses for younger individuals. With my experience I hope to bring efficiency and strong representation to our class. If I am elected, my goal is to bring “Checks and Balances”, to find compromises on policy that is in the best interest of the student body.The people running are to speak on behalf of the student population and its local issues, not to create their own political platform. In the association my aim is to evaluate policies and to ask questions while weighing and considering all realistic options. 

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I have a similar venture to make U.M.D. a wonderful campus, a campus that reflects the student body as a whole. It is a firm belief of mine to help others and give back to the community. Where I am from (Eagle River, WI), it is a small town with an economy largely based on tourism and resorts. Being raised in a community that needs volunteers to make local events a success, I have built and acquired many team working skills that I wish to apply to the university and my fellow peers.





Name: D'Lanie Perry

 

Major: Psychology and Human Resource Management

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

Throughout middle and high school, I was involved in sports and various clubs. It was there that I discovered my love for working with people and planning events. There is nothing like working hard with a group of people to put together a big event and see the joy in the attendee's faces. In my downtime, I enjoy hammocking with friends and making tie-blankets.

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I was in involved in Student Council from 7th grade to my senior year at Roseville Area High School. I lead groups in creating and running a variety of events for our homecoming and charity week. I was a junior varsity captain my sophomore and junior year and a varsity captain my senior year for the dance team where I would lead my team in warming up, practicing, and keeping the team motivated and focused at competitions. Additionally, I was a leader of several sub-committees for my school's prom committee for the two years I was apart of it.

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I would be a good fit for student association because I truly enjoy working with others, especially when we all share a common goal. My affinity for planning and collaborating, and my ability to lead and motivate others will be a great asset to the fun and inclusive events this organization puts on. Being involved with SA is a great way to show school spirit and increases a sense of community throughout campus.














Name: Brooke Larson

 

Major: International Studies

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

Last June I graduated from White Bear Lake Area High School in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. I love traveling, being outdoors, spending time with friends, and reading (anything and everything). I am also very passionate toward helping others, and hope to continue doing so here at UMD.

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

From past leadership experiences, I have learned what it takes to successfully lead others. My Junior year I was co-president of my class. I have also been involved with link crew and student council for two years as well. These responsibilities have taught me how to listen to my peers, strive for equality, and strengthened my passion to help others. 



Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I believe I would work well in SA as a representative because I will be able to help advocate for the whole campus. Through this experience, I will be able to connect with my peers and strive to make this a stronger community, while making sure others voices and concerns are heard. If given the opportunity to be a representative, I will work hard to help take action and make change here at UMD. 














Name: Olivia Munson

 

Major: Biology

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

My favorite things to do are workout with my friends, get coffee and go hiking. I love doing outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping and swimming. I worked at a Starbucks for a while, so coffee is one of my favorite things. In high school I did cross country, soccer and track.

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I think I would be a good leader because I tend to be the one in big groups who steps ups and makes the decisions. In high school, I was involved in several leadership groups including student council, Link and Ambassadors, where I had to mentor underclassmen and contribute way to help my peers. I think my personality would be a good asset to SA because of my ability to work with others, and be the one who leads, rather than a follower.

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I think I would be able to work well within SA as a freshman because I would be one of the few with the freshest perspective on life at UMD, and be able to learn from the upperclassmen. I think I can bring new ideas and views along with the other freshman representatives, and be able to work with upperclassmen and peers to solve problems at UMD. I would be open to everyone's opinions and views, while still contributing my own perspective.




Name: Rohan Rokkam

 

Major: Statistics and Actuarial Sciences

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

I have many passions and interests, whenever the courts are dry and I have time I love to go out and play some tennis. I also love watching football, especially if the Vikings are on... Skol! Other things that I take an interest in include skiing during the winters and hanging out with my friends.

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I forget where I heard this quote from but it goes like the following, "a true leader is one who guides their community to the point where the community does not need a leader for guidance." What this quote basically means is that the ideal leader should have the goal of making their society self-sufficient so that they are independent enough to be able to take care of themselves. I believe that a leader should not lead with intent of ruling, but the intent of care and guidance as a friend would care for another friend and I believe that I can be that friend for my peers.

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I believe that I would work well within the SA as a freshman representative because I have a lot to bring to the table if chosen as a freshman rep. I consider myself to be a social guy who doesn't fear making new friends. To sum up my social personality in 3 words would be... goofy, empathetic, and energetic. To sum up my personality as a leader would be... friendly, humble, and hard-working.













Name: Riley Tuft

 

Major: Psychology

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

Growing up I was involved in quite a few sports (hockey, volleyball, and softball). I really enjoy playing and watching sports, as well as being active in general. My favorite part of playing sports was the social aspect, I enjoyed playing with lots of different people and getting to know them. This prompted me to get involved in a lot of other activities and clubs because of how much I enjoy being around new people and interacting with them. 

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I have been in leadership roles since I was very young. I was always one of the leaders of my youth and high school sports teams, and was called upon when the coaches needed a leader to set an example. I was also involved in student government at my high school.  I am very outgoing and love meeting new people, and having interesting conversations. I pride myself on being able to talk and listen to anyone no matter who they are. I believe my leadership experience and ability to communicate well with anyone makes me a qualified leader.

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

 

I love working with people and being a problem solver. I also have excellent organizational skills which I think is important when working in a large group setting. I have a wide array of interests and am always open to new ideas. I believe these skills and more will enable me to work well with other freshmen representatives. 














Name: Madeline Gilles

 

Major: Undeclared

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

I enjoy running, reading, and hiking. I'm a very "outdoors-y" person, so really any outdoor activities I enjoy. I also like to cook. I competed in competitive public speaking in high school, going to state every year. 

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I think that I have good leadership skills, I have great public speaking skills, and I'm goal oriented. I'm willing to take initiative to advocate for the freshman class and the student body at UMD.

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I think I would work well as a freshman representative because I intend to promote activism, to offer ideas about how to improve student experiences, and to take into account the many varied opinions of students at UMD. I would like to try to have a positive impact on the community at UMD. 






Name: Daksha Gummadi 

 

Major: Management Information Systems

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

My hobbies include traveling, playing tennis, watching movies, reading, going on hikes with my dog, and eating out with friends. I love meeting new people and making new friends as well. I also enjoy being a part of this year's BizDog learning community where business students study and live together. 

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I believe I am qualified because I was President of World Culture Club, Vice President of Robotics, Secretary of Math Club, along with serving two years on the Student Council at Centennial High School. I also had the opportunity to numerous service projects such as organizing for my school's blood drive, volunteering at my local nursing home and helping fundraise for animal shelters throughout the Minneapolis area.




Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

As we embark on this new chapter of our lives we will be expecting many changes. If elected, I will be open and transparent. I am very organized, so I will always be prompt to respond to concerns and will take action accordingly. I will increase student involvement in undergraduate affairs and streamline the communication process between students and their representatives. I believe that UMD should be a place of learning and should also be a place where we can have fun. 




Name: Renzo Pucci

 

Major: Linguistics and Psychology

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

I like being very active; I workout 3-5 times a week, play sports, and participate in different organizations. One of my main hobbies is learning a variety of languages. Some of the languages that I currently know are Spanish, French, and English (at least I hope I do). 



What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

I believe that I am qualified to become a leader because I have experience with leadership positions. Back in high school, I was the founder and president of the latino club. I was also one of the leaders for a student lead group Dare to Be Real. I was also the captain of my soccer team since freshman year. 



Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I believe I would work really well within Student Association because I like to meet and work with different people, especially those that have different opinions than mine. I also think that I will not only contribute to SA but I would also bring my own unique perspective to the SA. Being involved with SA would give me an opportunity to benefit and continue to change my new home, UMD.



Name: Ariana Ball

Major: Civil Engineering

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

One of my main hobbies growing up was 4-H, through which I spent 6 years raising hogs and being involved with agriculture in my community. Having been born and raised in Northern California, I’ve spent many weekends hiking through the redwoods along the beach. In high school, I was also heavily involved with my school’s ASB (associated student body) program and Christians on campus.

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

During my participation in ASB and 4-H, I have held many different leadership positions that helped me develop many skills that make me a competent leader. I would say that I am a strong team player who works well with others and makes sure everyone’s voice is heard, but I also know when to step up and take a stance on something I believe in. I am a passionate, goal-oriented person and am always looking to evolve and improve.

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I believe I would be a great fit within the SA because I am a people person who gets along well with others and communicates openly. I am a firm believer in the saying “You were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason”, meaning I am quick to listen thoughtfully rather than blindly answering. I also address every situation with a positive attitude which makes me approachable and easy to talk to.

 






Name: Drew Brown 

 

Major: Political Science

 

What do you like to do (hobbies, backgrounds, etc.)?

Well, before we get to the politics part, I spend a good chunk of my time with music, listening and playing. Since high school I have been focusing mainly on guitar, playing with friends is a favorite of mine. With the rest of my time (not devoted to school) I have been getting involved with the City of Blaine. While serving as an election judge in the 2018 mid-terms, I worked with the City to create a new position. I have had the chance to sit in with the City Council (and the Boards and Committees that report to it) every other week and participate in the discussions they have. 

 

What makes you qualified as a leader of your peers?

From experiences in high school as a member of student council, section leader in concert band and marching band, and creating the City position, I believe I have some understanding of what it means to lead. I have found that it is not only about being the boss, it is getting the team to work together. You have to work with those who trust you as their leader, then again sometimes you have to bring down the hammer and get things done.

 

Why do you believe you will work well within SA as a freshman representative?

I think I would fit in because I am used to working in groups. What the adjunct member position with the City of Blaine has taught me, is how to be part of a bigger picture. When you sit up at the rotunda, it is no longer just about you, it is about getting something done. It has shown me how I have to act and how I have to work with others to achieve the bigger goal.