Meet the Detroit Mercy Class of 2024

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October 08, 2020

The fall semester at University of Detroit Mercy is in full swing, so what better time to check in with some of our freshmen students in our Freshman Q&A Series.

We asked several new Titans how the year has been going and here’s what they had to say:

Anika Gullapalli poses for a photo.Anika Gullapalli
Hometown: Portage
High School: Portage Northern
Major: Biology/Five-year PA program

​Why did you choose Detroit Mercy?
I chose Detroit Mercy because of their five-year PA program and because it’s a small school, and in the same state.

How did Detroit Mercy stand out compared to some of the other colleges you were looking at?
Detroit Mercy stood out from all the other colleges I was looking at because it was a smaller school. I enjoy smaller classroom sizes, as I will be able to ask the teacher more questions and be able to feel closer to the teachers. I also liked how everyone is very nice and how every class is close by. They gave me a chance to try the PA program, and I took that opportunity.

Something you want people to know about you?
Something I want people to know about me is I love animals a lot and I even have a fish in my dorm. Also, if you play tennis, I would love to play for fun or even some games as well!

What are some of your goals and how might Detroit Mercy help make them happen?
I really want to explore more opportunities for me to try and come out of my shell and be a bit more excited for school. However, I want to be able to become a PA to help others in need when the higher doctors have too many patients. Detroit Mercy will help me achieve my goals as they will help me understand what to do for the PA program, and how to apply for jobs and get my clinical hours. Also, because it is a smaller school, I will be able to interact with others more and Detroit Mercy will help me open up.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like so far?
My experience here has been great. No one from my school came here so I felt a bit lonely and scared at first. However, I was able to make very close friends who I know will stay for a long time. I really enjoy the fun online games for prizes and being able to ask questions to teachers when I have problems. I really enjoy Detroit Mercy and I am glad I chose the University.

 

Harrison Albano poses for a photo.Harrison Albano
Hometown: Plymouth
High School: Plymouth High School
Major: Communications with minor in Leadership and Sports Communications

​Why did you choose Detroit Mercy?
I chose Detroit Mercy because it was always a dream of mine to play Division I lacrosse and they gave me the opportunity to do that. Also, the coaching staff is amazing. They are not only the best coaches, but also the best people I have ever met. And finally, Detroit Mercy gives me a chase to get a great education and prepares me for the future.

How did Detroit Mercy stand out compared to some of the other colleges you were looking at?
Detroit Mercy stood out to me because it has a great lacrosse program. Also, it had what I wanted to major and minor in, along with so many other options if I wanted to switch majors.

How did the Jesuit and Mercy mission and values factor into that decision?
With Detroit Mercy being a Jesuit and Mercy school, I knew there would be a lot of opportunities to work with the community and to do community service.

Something you want people to know about you?
Something I would like people to know about me is I'm on the lacrosse team.

What are some of your goals and how might Detroit Mercy help make them happen?
One of my goals is to work for a professional sports team. And with Detroit Mercy being in Detroit and having some connections to the pro sport teams in the city, Detroit Mercy gives me the chance for internships and future job opportunities.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like so far?
So far I have loved it here at Detroit Mercy. There are so many nice people that have welcomed me with open arms and been so polite. Also, all of my professors have been helpful and supportive.

 

Abigail Todino poses for a photo.Abigail Todino
Hometown: Algonac
High School: Algonac High School
Major: Nursing

Why did you choose Detroit Mercy?
I chose Detroit Mercy because of the direct admit Nursing program and small class sizes.

How did Detroit Mercy stand out compared to some of the other colleges you were
looking at?
It stood out because of the Nursing program and the success rate of the students who have gone through the Nursing program.

How did the Jesuit and Mercy mission and values factor into that decision?
I have always been a religious person, so going to a school that values religion and has everything I was looking for was a win-win situation for me.

Something you want people to know about you?
I am looking forward to being on the cheer team when that is reinstated.

What are some of your goals and how might Detroit Mercy help make them happen?
My goal is to become a neonatal nurse practitioner and Detroit Mercy is putting me on the right track to reach my goal.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like so far?
My experience at Detroit Mercy so far has been amazing. Faculty has been very understanding and helpful during this upside-down time in our lives.

 

Ryan Sangchompuphen, pictured golfing.

Ryan Sangchompuphen
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
High School: Denver School of the Arts
Major: Biology (Pre-Med)

Why did you choose Detroit Mercy?
I mean, to play golf, is my main thing. I did high school in three years, so I was just looking forward to getting right to it and start playing some golf.

What are some of your goals? How might Detroit Mercy help make them happen?
Become a doctor, go to medical school. Probably a radiologist, because that’s what my dad is. The teachers are really supportive, already I can tell. It’s nice that they have the pre-med track, so I’m able to get that basic understanding of everything, so once I do get to med school, I feel like I’ll be more prepared than if I did something else, and at a school that didn’t really offer this track.

How is your experience at Detroit Mercy going so far?
I like it a lot. The smaller class sizes. I kind of already know everybody out of the freshmen, and the team is super nice, hanging out with them and playing golf. It’s nice because it’s a smaller environment and it feels a lot more comfortable. The teachers know you more. I only have a couple of in-person classes. It’s been weird online, like, I’d prefer the in-person classes. But they’ve been pretty supportive, and if you reach out, the teachers always respond right away, which I feel would be a little different if you had 300 kids in your class.

How did Detroit Mercy stand out compared to some of the other colleges you were looking at?
It was ranked right up there at the top, because my mom actually went here. She loved it here, so I came out here and I really liked the campus, so it was right up there at the top.

Take me through your first trip to campus.
I didn’t go on campus, but it was a couple years ago when my family visited Ohio, and we drove up because my parents still have a bunch of friends here in Detroit, because they used to live here. My dad did a residency at Oakwood Hospital, while my mom went to college here. So, they kind of just showed me around the town, we drove past the campus, they showed me where they lived and everything. It was pretty neat.

Not many people are able to graduate high school in just three years. How were you able to do that? How does it feel to have done that?
I took a couple online classes to get the extra 2-3 credits that I needed to graduate. And I’m really glad that I did that, because I was at an arts school in Denver that was a 6-12, and I had been there since sixth grade. It’s a very small school, too, only class sizes of 150. It’s just that same scene, walking through the same doors every day just got kind of old, so I was really happy to get out and get a change of scenery. It’s felt nice.

What’s one of your favorite spots on Detroit Mercy’s McNichols Campus so far that you’ve grown to like?
I mean, the fountain out front, to study by, I like it a lot.

 

Sophia Wiegers poses for a photoSophia Wiegers
Hometown: Auburn Hills
High School: Detroit Country Day
Major: Nursing

Why did you choose Detroit Mercy?
A major factor that played a role in what college I wanted to attend was the size. I chose Detroit Mercy because I love the class sizes. Personally, I do not like to feel like a number and I enjoy knowing my instructors, and my instructors knowing me.

How did Detroit Mercy stand out compared to some of the other colleges you werelooking at?
I think Detroit Mercy does a great job at demonstrating how much support they provide for their students. For me, Detroit Mercy stood out from the other schools because of how much the faculty cares about creating a close relationship with their students. I think Detroit Mercy does a great job at showing the support they have for their students, even before attending there.

How did the Jesuit and Mercy mission and values factor into that decision?
Another factor was that Detroit Mercy offers mass and one of the school’s main goals is for students to understand others on a deeper level. While deciding where to go I knew I wanted the option to be able to go to mass while living on campus.

Something you want people to know about you?
I am a very easygoing person who loves to meet new people, so do not be afraid to ever reach out if you are looking for a new friend.

What are some of your goals and how might Detroit Mercy help make them happen?
One of my main goals is to just keep an open mind about life. I think many of us get so fixated on something that might not be right for that person. Detroit Mercy is going to help me keep an open mind because there are so many people willing to help me if I want to change my major or need to just talk.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like so far?
So far, I have enjoyed Detroit Mercy. Although everything is mostly remote, I think Detroit Mercy has done a great job at keeping everyone connected and providing support for their students.

 


Jacob Yasso poses for a photoJacob Yasso
Hometown: Sterling Heights
High School: Henry Ford II
Major: Political Science (Pre-Law)

Why did you choose Detroit Mercy?
I chose Detroit Mercy purely for the close-knit community, and the people that I met in the process of searching for colleges. Detroit Mercy made me feel wanted and accepted into the school. I didn’t feel that way with any of the other colleges I applied to.

How did Detroit Mercy stand out compared to some of the other colleges you were looking at?
Detroit Mercy stood out from all the other colleges I applied to because of its attentiveness to the student and their individual needs. Whether it’s a program you are looking at, or financials, someone at Detroit Mercy is willing to help you find your place at the University. This may go unnoticed, but with COVID-19 affecting the way colleges reach out to students, I found it very easy to contact someone if I needed help, or even schedule a tour to get a better feel for the campus.

How did the Jesuit and Mercy mission and values factor into that decision?
Being raised in a Catholic household, the Jesuit and Mercy traditions were definitely a deciding factor in my college decision. I also enjoy the community service opportunities the Jesuit and Mercy traditions provide. Like helping the area around campus or cleaning up alleys. The power of education is also a tradition based on Jesuit values. This is important to me because it allows me to become educated in many different varieties of fields, like leadership or service-oriented work. It eased my nerves knowing that everyone on campus, regardless of religious background or beliefs, is accepted to fullest extent through inclusive social and virtual events.

Something you want people to know about you?
Something I want people to know about me is that I require very close attention from my teachers. At Detroit Mercy the class sizes and the attention I get from my professors has really helped me become more intuitive with my class work, and grow as an independent college student.

What are some of your goals and how might Detroit Mercy help make them happen?
My dream is to work in a law firm and to help bring more advocation for sexual assault, abuse and rape victims. Detroit Mercy will help me get to where I want because the school has access to local employment to help all students have a successful future.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like so far?
My experience with Detroit Mercy thus far has been an exciting and fun journey, meeting new people, making friends and overall enjoying the activities Detroit Mercy has to offer. After being on campus, I realized I couldn’t have made a better decision for my future.

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