Meet our staff
Prior to her adventures at Skidmore, Silvena worked as a facilitator for the Summer Youth Dialogues (dialogues on race/ethnicity for Detroit high school youth), and developed social justice programming as a CommonGround graduate intern at the University of Michigan's Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR). She is also a proud graduate of Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in Sociology and has a Master's Degree in Higher Education from the University of Michigan. During college, she spent three years working with Chinatown Youth Initiatives, a New York City based youth leadership organization where she gained a deep appreciation for sitting in circles. Her academic interests include the role that institutions of higher education play in reproducing or contesting inequalities in surrounding communities and in society, queer of color theory as a basis for research in higher education, and the experiences of students of color in understanding the construction of race/ethnicity in colleges and universities. But most importantly, Silvena loves transformative crying and karaoke (especially to Taylor Swift).
Tsering Choden '17
My name is Tsering Choden and I’m currently a Junior at Skidmore College. Drawn by the close interrelationship between the environment and humans, I am studying Environmental Studies as my major. Likewise, learning to build a sense of universal responsibility has always been a point of interest. Among other things, I like being outdoors, the smell of old books and small acts of kindness especially, by random strangers.
Rula Issa '17
My name is Rula Issa. I am from Bosnia, but have been living in Ohio for a number of years. I am a Sociology + International Affairs major and am interested in social justice and activism.
Ashley Polanco '18
Hi my name is Ashley Polanco! I am a sociology major, and a potential IGR and Latin American studies Minor. I was born and raised in Harlem, NYC. I am a proud Latina and activist who values storytelling. I am passionate about issues concerning education, self-image, and the ways in which they each intersect with race, class and gender. In my free time you can probably find me watching videos on Spoken word poetry or just simply surfing the internet!
Isabel Rojas '17
My name is Isabel, born and raised on a small beautiful island off the coast of South New York called Manhattan. I am a Junior here at Skidmore, with Sociology as a major and IGR as a minor. Not only am I devoted to social justice work and activism, I’m also a big believer and supporter of self care, self love and mediation. I have been vegetarian all my life, but please do not offer me salad for a meal. I fully enjoy any meal that includes: strong flavors, potatoes, pasta, broccoli and cheese.
DyAnna Washington '18
Name: DyAnna Katherine Washington (no middle name; I have a double first name)
I am from Cleveland, Ohio and I went to Cleveland School of the Arts high school. I am a Sociology Major and a possible IGR and Dance double minor. I am the president of QLIC (Queer Lives in Color) which is a club on campus that is dedicated to highlighting the intersectional identities of queer people of color. My favorite food is Mac and Cheese. In my spare time I enjoy sleeping, reading, browsing YouTube, journaling, and channeling my inner child by coloring.
Hulwa Khaleel '16
I am a senior Economics major at Skidmore College with double minors in Education Studies and Government. Hailing from the Maldives (South West of the tip of India), I have been studying abroad in North America for six years now. On campus, I am the co-president of the International Student Union, and am involved in environmental sustainability issues. My future academic, professional, and personal interests lie in policy work related to education and climate change issues. The way to my heart is through food, especially anything involving tuna.
Marjoram (MJ) Lynn '16
MJ is a senior majoring in Anthropology and focusing in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology. MJ is entering their third year with OSDP and is driven by all aspects of diversity, but is particularly close to issues related to gender and race relations.