Ali Barber ’20

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Ali Barber '20

Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Major: History

“I am super grateful for chocolate and my cats and my friends and family. I think it’s really nice to know I have a lot of support both from my food and from my people.

I’m super grateful at Pomona – specifically for my awesome professors who teach me so much and the opportunity to take lots of different classes across disciplines and really build connections across them.

For Thanksgiving, I am going home to San Francisco to hang out with my parents and extended family which should be really nice and a nice break from the heat of Southern California.”

Derrius Rahman ’23

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Derrius Rahman '23 

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Major: Undecided

“I am grateful for my family. I’ve gotten a lot closer to them this year while being away at college.

I’m thankful for the Pomona staff, they’ve been working closely with me and helping me get through my academics.

This year for Thanksgiving, I’ll be having a Friendsgiving.”

Selena Lopez ’22

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Selena Lopez '22 

Hometown: Charleston, SC
Major: International Relations and Romance Languages & Literatures

“I think that without a doubt, I am grateful for my family. The smile that comes to my face when my mom sends me a good morning text means the world to me, and I know that I am where I am in life because of my family, who has supported me from the start. From believing in me to letting me fly far from home to make my dreams come true, my family has given me everything. 

At Pomona, I am most thankful for the people who have shown me support and love in more ways than I can name. Working at the Admissions Office has introduced me to people who provide me with advice and genuinely care about how I am doing and being involved at the Draper Center has given me the opportunity to give back in the way that means the most to me: through education access programs. The friends that I have made and the professors who continuously foster a place of learning have made Pomona a home away from home. 

I plan on staying in Claremont for Thanksgiving, spending time with those whom I care about, probably watching movies and drinking hot chocolate. Knowing my friends and I, we might embark on a last-minute adventure that are often the most memorable.”

Danny DeBare ’22

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Danny DeBare '22

Hometown: Piedmont, CA
Major: Politics

“I'm grateful for my heath and family.

I'm grateful for the amazing dining hall staff that consistently goes out of their way to make the dining halls feel like home. 

For Thanksgiving, I’ll be at home in the Bay!”

Sarah Sundermeyer ’21

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Sarah Sundermeyer '21 

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA
Major: Gender & Women’s Studies

“I am most grateful for my family for supporting me here in college.

At Pomona, I’m so grateful that it is 75 degrees and sunny in late November, that’s unbelievable.

Spencer Barsh headshot

Spencer Barsh '22

For Thanksgiving I’ll be going home to NorCal and having Thanksgiving with my whole extended family.”

Spencer Barsh ’22

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Major: Psychological Science

“I am grateful for all the amazing friends I’ve made at Pomona and all the amazing tour guide staff who are so supportive and make me feel like I’m part of a community here. I guess that’s also what I’m grateful for in relation to Pomona, but more specifically, about academics at Pomona, I have found the place where I belong. If I could choose again – 100% of the time—I would pick Pomona, and I’m just so happy.

For Thanksgiving, I’ll be going to Houston to meet my cousins. Because I’m from Philadelphia, I didn’t want to take the six-hour flight and the three-hour time difference and go all the way back to Philly. My parents still wanted to see me, so we decided to meet in the middle and see my cousins in Houston. I’m super excited for that because I haven’t seen my family or my cousins in a while.”

Emily Zhang ’23

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Emily Zhang '23

Hometown: San Jose, CA
Major: Undecided

“I am appreciating little things more – Saturday brunches and weekend L.A. adventures with my cheerful, caring friends; reaffirming conversations with my professors; even the peaceful views I can take in walking back from class. College can be overwhelming sometimes, and so I appreciate how intentional Pomona is about providing space for communities to develop organically. I can honestly say much of my growth is because of the lovely people I have met here, who welcome me while pushing me to think harder and feel more deeply.

This Thanksgiving break, I'm looking forward most to reunion and reflection. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to fly back to the Bay Area and spend time with family and close friends – I can't wait to hear about their past few months and share my own favorite moments and experiences from college. My parents are also in the process of moving into a new house, an event that is exciting but surreal, so I'll definitely be packing and saying goodbye to my childhood home. My hope is to take time this break to appreciate and reflect on my experiences at Pomona, and then return back on campus refreshed and energized to finish the semester.” 

Kamil Lungu ’20

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Kamil Lungu '20 

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: International Relations

“I’m most grateful for my loving family and my little sister.

When it comes to Pomona, I feel that I’m most grateful for the strong, personal relationships I have with my professors.

For Thanksgiving, I’m actually staying here and going to my advisor’s house.”

Grete Helena Kütt ’20


Grete Helena Kütt '20 

Hometown: Harku Vald, Estonia
Major: Computer Science and French

“I am grateful to learn and grow every day: from longtime friends and complete strangers,  people who share my worldview as well as from those who think differently; grow together with the beautiful people who surround me and support me, who believe in me and who I believe in. Most importantly, I am thankful for waking up every morning with the opportunity to be a better human being. 

My three and a half years at Pomona have been filled with time spent alongside incredible people and unique opportunities that have encouraged me to explore and develop my passions. From taking clarinet lessons with Professor Gary Bovyer - my favorite moment of the week - to traveling to Scotland to present my research paper and organizing salsa lessons for the 5C community, many of my wildest dreams have come true on this campus. I would like to sincerely thank my advisors, Professor Alexandra Papoutsaki and Professor Jack Abecassis, for their personal example and unshakable faith in me. I also want to thank my eternal roommate and best friend since my first day at Pomona, Ariane Lo, without whom I would have probably never adapted to the American college life. Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to my host family, Karen and Patrick Tatone, whose loving support is my home away from home. 

I am using this [Thanksgiving] break to spend some quality time with ... my senior thesis! Yes, I am happy to take this time to focus on writing and research while also enjoying fun activities with my friends. As part of the Pomona Thanksgiving program, I was lucky to get an invitation from Professor David Tanenbaum to be part of his family's Thanksgiving dinner.”

Ian Poveda ’21

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Ian Poveda '21 

Hometown: Miami, FL
Major: Spanish

“I’m thankful for the relationship I have with my twin sister. Going to school on opposite coasts has been an adjustment, but it’s also been a reminder of how special she is to me. 

The people at Pomona have shaped me, transformed my worldview and challenged me on so many levels. It all started on Orientation Adventure and it’s why I love Pomona.

For Thanksgiving, I’ll be home with family and friends. My grandfather will be visiting from Colombia – I haven’t seen him for almost four years, so I’m excited to spend time with him.”

Madi Brothers ’22

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Madi Brothers '22 

Hometown: Carmel Valley, CA
Major: Environmental Analysis and Politics

“I am most grateful for my family, who I love more than anybody else in the world.

As far as Pomona, it’s pretty tough to choose. I’m thankful for the friends who I’ve made and for my teachers.

For Thanksgiving, I am going to hang out with friend. I’m actually not going home, which is going to be kind of sad but also exciting. All of my family is doing something different, so it’s kind of fun that I’m going to go crack in on someone else’s family and crash.”

Ethan Widlansky ’22

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Ethan Widlansky '22 

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Major: Undecided

“I am grateful for my family who have been there for me through all my micro-dramas, stumbles and successes. Dad, a role model and dedicated Sagehen fan, made it out to Kentucky to support the cross-country team at Nationals; mom, a loving psychologist, is always one phone call away; my coding-obsessed younger brother and way-cooler-than-high-school-Ethan younger sister are some of my best friends; and our three dogs (one geriatric black lab and two Dachshund puppies) remain adorable constants. We occupy a full house in Seattle that I am incredibly lucky to call home.

At Pomona, I am grateful for the cross-country team – a collection of my best friends and mentors – with whom I push my physical limits for a couple of hours every day; the English Department, where (as maybe evidenced by the number of semicolons I have used thus far) I am pursing my academic path; and the Claremont Law Journal and Careless Magazine, where I've found willing abettors for my not-so-great writing.

For Thanksgiving, I am going home to Seattle! I plan to try my hand at a pecan pie with my sister, take the dogs on some long walks, reconnect with friends, read and reflect a little on where I've been.”

Liliana Valle ’22

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Liliana Valle '22

Hometown: Gainesville, FL
Major: Undecided

“I’m really grateful or my both my parents.

In terms of Pomona, I’m super grateful for my professor, Janice Hudgings, she’s the realest.

In terms of Thanksgiving, I’m going up to Berkeley to see my brother.”

Alexa Stanton ’20

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Alexa Stanton '20

Hometown: Portsmouth, NH
Major: Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

“I’m really grateful for my family who I get to see in a couple of days and for my brother who lives really far away but who I’ve been talking to more and more now, even though we’re separated.

Specifically, about Pomona, I’m so grateful for my professors and for all the time they’ve sunk into me and really helped me think through all my problems and really cared about me as an individual.

What I’m doing for Thanksgiving: I’m going to the East Coast on Tuesday and we’re going to do a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner and maybe go see Frozen 2.”

Ethan Ong ’21

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Ethan Ong '21 

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Major: Math and Politics

“What I’m grateful for is that I’m a junior here at Pomona, I’m healthy, I have friends who are healthy and my family is healthy.

What I’m grateful for at Pomona specifically are the people. I am very blessed to have the same people that were with me freshman year until now as a junior and to have them still by my side. Also, Pomona faculty. They are truly part of my community as well.

As for what I’ll do for Thanksgiving, I’m going home to Seattle! I’m excited to see the rain and excited to feel the cold.”

Haidee Clauer ’22

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Haidee Clauer '22

Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Major: Physics

“I’m definitely grateful here at Pomona for the people and for the community. Recently, I got to go to Halona, Pomona’s cabin in Idyllwild in the mountains, with the Physics Department. To be able to have such a close community –from an academic [standpoint], what should be a competitive and scary environment – but ends up being so collaborative and fun and one of the best communities that I’ve experienced so far in my life. To be able to go up with them to the mountains and just have a really great time and hang out together and talk about why we love physics and get to experience a bit of mountain weather and some cold weather and get to see some snow – that was really incredible for me and I’m definitely grateful for that.

I’m grateful for the sun and it makes it so much better to come down and see the sun and see the oranges that are about to ripen, and also just get to hang out with the amazing Pomona community.

 And I’m about to go home for Thanksgiving today so I’m very excited to see my family and my dog, and eat some pies because I’m going to miss the Pomona Events Committee free pie event which I’m very sad about missing, but hopefully I’ll make up for it.”

Emma Vorenberg ’20

Emma Vorenberg

Emma Vorenberg '20 

Hometown: Barrington, RI
Major: Linguistics

“I am grateful for my friends, for the opportunities I've had this year, and for my family, especially those who are hosting me this week!

At Pomona, I'm incredibly grateful for my professors and their support. My senior seminar professor showed up this morning with a big box of Some Crust pastries even though we didn't have class so those of us still on campus could come snack and get thesis advice! Also, most of my professors this semester don’t assign work over breaks (beyond larger assignments that were due later anyway) so that we have a chance to truly unwind.

I am headed to Denver, CO to see my cousin and her fiancé - the only plans I have at the moment are hiking and eating lots of food!”