2013-14 Counselor Profiles

Amini, LylaHello! My name is Lyla Amini. I am a senior, majoring in Environmental Studies and Sociology/Anthropology major with a Middle Eastern Studies concentration. I am constantly inspired by the capacity and complexities of human capabilities, and hope to dedicate my life to movements larger than just myself as an individual.  I am from St. Paul, Minnesota, but have grown up in an international and multicultural context, and so I dislike saying that I am from just one particular place.

I love learning new things, and while I hope to be a resource for all of you, I am also hoping to learn a lot from you all as well. I enjoy being outside and my favorite activities when I am not in school are hanging out with friends, traveling, rock climbing, canoeing, reading, writing, and hiking. I can’t wait to meet you all in August, and until then, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me!


Bindra, ArmaanHey there!! I am Armaan Bindra from New Delhi, India. I am a rising Junior and currently working towards a Computer Science major with a China Studies concentration. Traveling around the world and meeting new people from all over the world is one of my favorite things to do along with learning new languages. Over the years I have had the great opportunity to travel to many countries such as Egypt, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China and Japan.  It is always a pleasure to explore and meet people abroad. This last January I was part of an interim abroad program in China and Japan, which was an amazing experience as I got to live with a Chinese host family and learn a lot about the culture firsthand.

The reason why I am here today at St. Olaf is because it is a small college, which helps foster a wonderful community atmosphere, and it is really so easy to make friends and live together with them on a beautiful and charming campus.

Choosing St. Olaf as your college was the right decision. These are about to be some of the best years of your life. I am really excited to meet and get to know you all, see you on the hill this August. Um Yah Yah!


Bocoum, SoukeynaHi there!  My name is Soukeyna Bocoum (class of 2016). I am an international student from a very warm and sunny country called Senegal. I went to high school at a United World College in Hong Kong and got the chance to travel around Asia. I speak Wolof (Senegalese language), French and English and want to learn Spanish someday. I am passionate about public health and I am now planning an individual major in global health in third world countries.

On campus, I am a member of Karibu (the African Organization), Oles for Global Health and the volunteer network. I like to play tennis, dance and listen to loud music. I enjoy watching and taking part in events on campus. I absolutely love to travel, explore new places and be exposed to new cultures and new people just like you will! My favorite thing to do, however, is to just hang out with my friends outside when it is sunny.  I am looking forward to an exciting year and cannot wait to meet y’all!


Boling, MaggieHello! My name is Maggie Boling, and I am very excited to be an International Student Counselor for the 2013-2014 school year! I am a rising senior, majoring in Social Work with a Biomedical Studies concentration. I am from Libertyville, Illinois, and chose to attend St. Olaf because of its commitment to diversity and global education, its tight-knit and trusting atmosphere, and the opportunities it offered me to cultivate my academic, athletic, spiritual, and extracurricular interests. I am a member of the swimming and diving team, the Awesome Club (an after-school club for Northfield Middle School students with Autism spectrum disorders), the Autism Awareness Committee, and Serving Our Society (SOS), the Social Work Club on campus.

I enjoy traveling, meeting new people, reading, speaking Spanish, and spending time with friends and family. I have traveled to Ireland, China, and Honduras, and most recently to England on St. Olaf’s Theater in London J-term program.

After graduating, I plan to attend graduate school to become an Occupational Therapist. I would love to live abroad at some point in my life. In the meantime, I look forward another great year on the Hill. I am excited to meet you all in August! Feel free to contact me via email or Facebook in the meantime!



Bower, DominicYou’re right! St. Olaf College is a great choice! Welcome to my home, a home that will soon be yours as well. Soon you will embrace loving people, a gorgeous campus, a fascinating education, and a winter that you will never forget. Excited?

Hi, I’m Dominic Bower. I have lived all my life on a small island in the Bahamas. After high school I attended United World College of Costa Rica. There I fell in love with the world. Seeing different cultures, unique personalities, and strong characters, I became hungry to learn more. This is why I want to get to know you guys, to welcome you to St. Olaf, my home. So feel free to open up to us counselors, we are interested and very willing to help.

For now, I am a Spanish and Physics double major. So, if you can, please speak to me in Spanish or rattle my brain with difficult problems. I am on the Ultimate Frisbee team, a popular sport on campus that is filled with fun-loving people – seriously consider joining. Dancing is also a passion of mine so I have joined the Veselica International Dance Company. My other interests include many sports, tons of islandy stuff, hiking, chess, music, poetry and movies. Like all of your International Counselors, I love to travel and dream of a day where I can tour the world.  I hope you will come to enjoy you time here at St. Olaf. This is a wonderful place but at first it is very hectic. So if you have any questions or comments email me at bower@stolaf.edu. See you in August friends!


Campos Gomez, JeannyfferHi! I am Jeannyfer Campos Gomez from Guatemala. So, here there is a little bit about myself.  I am a rising sophomore majoring in Studio Art with a concentration in Environmental Studies, planning to apply to an architecture grad school after St. Olaf. In terms of my passions and hobbies, I love dancing and I also play the violin. I am currently in Philharmonia orchestra. I ALSO speak Spanish, French (not as fluent, but I try my best) and English of course.  Besides violin and dance, I love Nature and enjoy taking photos.

Before coming to St. Olaf I used to be a UWC Student at UWCSEA, Singapore. There, I realized how passionate I was about cultures and how much I loved interacting with international students. I also had the opportunity to travel to some countries in Asia and Europe, which gave me a broader sense of intercultural understanding. I could write a book about every one of these trips… getting lost several times, struggling with language, taking the wrong buses and learning ‘How to Bargain’ 101. Although this probably does not seem to make sense here, I have to say that all these experiences are the ones that have actually taught me how different our backgrounds and countries are and how much is there to learn from each other. It has pretty much shaped me in the person I am today, willing to take risks and learn from every experience.

I am very glad you chose St. Olaf! It is definitely the right place to pursue your dreams and goals. People here are amazingly friendly and always willing to help you out ANYTIME. I highly encourage you to TRY new things, get involve in everything you can and EXPLORE new options. Do not be afraid to talk to random people or eat with a random person in the cafeteria, believe me, is the best way to make friends. Make the best of winter when it is supposed to be spring, enjoy those beautiful sunsets, play with the squirrels… you know, just enjoy your time at St. Olaf and make the best of every day. The Hill is a wonderful place where you will definitely make lifetime friendships. You will never forget the experiences that you are about to live here.  I am a very approachable and friendly person and I would love to help you with anything you need. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any question no matter how random they may seem to be, just send me an email to camposgo@stolaf.edu and I will be more than happy to help. Can’t wait to meet you all!


Marie, EsmeHi! My name is Esme Marie and I’m a rising senior at St. Olaf College with a major in Political Science and a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies. I grew up in a small town in northern Switzerland but have spent the past few years of my life (including most of my high school experience) residing alongside Mother Nature in Center Lovell, Maine. At St. Olaf I spend quite a bit of my time in the World Languages Center; whether it be tutoring German or practicing my Arabic, I love language learning and all that comes with it. I’m also a big fan of the outdoors, drinking coffee over a good conversation, and playing cribbage.

I’m currently studying abroad in Amman, Jordan, where I’m undergoing a journey similar to the one you’re about to embark on! That being said, I’m incredibly excited to meet and interact with you over the course of the upcoming school year. Please feel free to e-mail me at marie@stolaf.edu with any questions, comments, or concerns.




Trejos, GabrielWelcome incoming international students! My name is Gabriel DuránTrejos. I am a rising senior from Costa Rica.  I am a double major in Economics and Environmental Studies with an area emphasis in Management Studies. One interesting fact about myself is the range of countries I represent. I was born in Ecuador, but my father is from Costa Rica and my mom is from Colombia. I also studied in the United World Colleges of Costa Rica.

I chose St. Olaf because of its strong sense of community. I come from a really small country, so I highly appreciate an environment in which you can have close interactions with the people surrounding you.

I am a really cheerful person and very approachable. I enjoy having conversations with different kinds of people about any topic. I also like playing any kind of sports, but especially love soccer.

I have been part of different organizations on campus such as Model of United Nations, Environment in Asia Connections, and had the pleasure to be the co-chair of the International Student Organization. In addition to my involvement on campus, I studied abroad for one semester at the University of Sheffield in England.

St Olaf College is this charming place where you find really approachable people with lots of different interests and backgrounds. For me, listening to different people is one of the most enriching ways to learn about life. That said, I highly encourage you all to open yourselves and learn from as many people as you can once you arrive. You will realize that St. Olaf is a more diverse college than some people think. I am really excited for this upcoming year and I am looking forward to meeting all of you in person and learning from each of you.


photoMy name is Athena Yang, a senior from Beijing, China. I am majoring in biology with concentrations in neuroscience and women’s studies, hoping to pursue rehabilitation sciences after graduation. China, United States, Panama, and Australia are countries that I have spent time studying in, and I love traveling and being involved in international communities. I also enjoy bird watching, reading, running, biking, and good music. I love St. Olaf to pieces and you have made a great decision to come here. My favorite Olaf memories include being in Christmas fest, living in Hoyme freshmen year, president ball, Trampled by turtles concert, and studying on the fourth floor of Regents. I spend my free time volunteering in Northfield Hospital and its rehabilitation center, playing music with my friends, and walking the beautiful natural land. I work in the music library and admission office, so please stop by and say hi if you are around! I cannot wait to meet all of you and hear your unique stories.




Sancken Bradley Hey there! I’mBradley Sancken from Saunemin, Illinois. I am a rising Junior pursuing degrees in Political Science and Asian Studies with a Japan Studies concentration. Exploring other cultures and getting to know other people is a passion of mine. I believe interacting with other cultures leads to a better understanding of our world. This was fostered by the various homestay exchanges and trips I have participated in; two exchanges to Japan in 2010 and an exchange to Finland and Estonia during 2011. I also experienced the homestay through the opposite perspective by hosting a Japanese student. I have also traveled with St. Olaf to China and Japan through the Asian Conversation program. Because of these experiences, I have grown as a global citizen and wish to further my global understanding throughout the rest of my life. In the future I wish to take these cultural understandings to a diplomatic context through the U.S. State Department or the United Nations.

I am glad you chose St. Olaf and can’t wait to meet and welcome you all to the Hill! I particularly like St. Olaf College because of the willingness people have to meet others and the genuine curiosity to learn about their backgrounds. Campus is a nice place where you can see the sunset everyday on the hill overlooking Norway Valley while enjoying the scent of cookies in the air from the nearby Malt-O-Meal plant! I think you will all have fantastic times here at St. Olaf that will never be forgotten. See you all in August!