Student Spotlight: Christel Lomahan

Meet third-year transfer student Christel Lomahan from Frankfurt, Germany.

Favorite movies
Dialogue is very important in films. When it's thick and rich with witty elements, it's a plus. I like the open-ended ones too, complex enough to make you want to watch a second time to understand them. Some of my top picks would be: 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Fight Club," "Gattaca," "Memento," "Waking Life," "The Fountain." Of course, classic films/musicals like "An American in Paris" and "The Sound of Music" hit a soft spot for me.

Favorite food
My mother's home-cooked meals! I fancy European cuisine. Growing up, I was exposed to Belgian waffles, Turkish kebabs, German wurst and jaegerschnitzel, Hungarian goulash, French escargot. The list could go on. There's nothing like well-prepared food!

Favorite music
I like a lot of folk acoustic and piano-based tunes, but I listen to a lot of music - from classical to electronic to indie, etc. Usually the up-and-coming talents impress me before they go mainstream.

Favorite books
"Great Gatsby," "Catcher in the Rye," "Pride and Prejudice," "The Alchemist," and other philosophical texts. "The World's Wisdom" (Philip Novak) is a very good compilation of selected writings from sources like the Bible and Tao Te Ching.

What are your special interests?
Traveling and exploring (I recommend it to everyone!), writing, film watching with friends, sports watching with the family boys, playing music with the siblings, and playing tennis.

What do you like about traveling?
Because many countries were accessible to tour around during my childhood, my family would frequently go on road trips. It was all very amusing as a kid, but as an adult I realize how appreciative I am to have had the chance to see and respect culture - how people are shaped and how they shape everything else - in a manner different from a textbook blurb. You can't really say something about a place unless you've actually been there. And there are so many places worth going to, because it is a big world out there. It's like a giant, bottomless tray of good food you may have never tried before: there's a lot, but you can pick out what you want to eat because everything has its tasteful merits. And if you've eaten up one thing, that's all right, because the refill for it is still available. It's about where you go, who you meet, what you do, and how all may affect or change you. If a refill can be done, going back to a place again is enriching; it can mean that much more to leave, return, and (while valuing what you've already experienced), discover something new again. Even in my hometown, I know there are still sites and scenes I haven't gone to, yet maybe should sample up someday.

Who are your role models/heroes?
I've looked up to Michelle Kwan as a role model. Her character and how she carries herself really grew on me, and I admire her strength to get up after falling down more than the countless victories she's had. That's a real triumph - it's inspiration. My parents have really done a lot for me and the rest of my family. My mom has been giving not only to her family, but also to other people and she, along with my dad, has gone out of her way for strangers who've grown into good family friends. Both of my parents have pushed past limits and have taken risks, and my dad, particularly, is the hero. He has worked very hard to provide and build a home that his children (including me), honestly, may never fully realize is more than enough. He's been deployed out to Iraq twice before, and is now out there again. I know everything he does means more than just for himself, and that I'm always grateful for.

What's your major?
Cognitive Science

What's your intended career after graduation?
The goal so far has been to go for a career in the medical field.

What student organizations or groups are you involved in?
I'm the Transfer Senator or Representative for Sixth College Student Council, on the board for the All Campus Transfer Association (ACTA), and a member of Cognitive Science Student Association (CSSA). I also sometimes work with the commuter organizations on campus, either within Sixth or around UCSD, and play intramural tennis. Interested in getting involved? Or are you a transfer wanting to find something to do? Send me an e-mail at clomahan@ucsd.edu.

Why do you love Sixth College as much as you do?
I love the enthusiasm the staff and students bring to Sixth College, and I love the sense of community and involvement in Sixth College. I remember as far back as orientation, with the encouragement of our Dean, Assistant Dean, and another spotlight (Giang Nguyen), I was convinced that jumping right into involvement my first quarter would be a great idea. And it was. I gained a lot of experience, growth, support, and of course friends. Even if I weren't living on campus, Sixth College still has that communal pull, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who shares that sense.

What's your favorite memory of Sixth College or moment at Sixth College?
During fire week in San Diego, I was taken aback by the efforts of Sixers who stayed behind to set up and overlook a goods drive for evacuees at Qualcomm Stadium. That was a difficult and perhaps confusing time for everyone, so it was remarkable for them to go beyond that and commit to thoughtfulness and patronage to others outside of the Sixth community.

If you could give one piece of advice to other Sixth College students, what would it be?
Aside from getting involved, please get to know your college staff and council. They are all nice, fun, and friendly people who want to make sure you are taken care of here. Make them (and utilizing them as great resources) a real part of your college experience. You can step off after graduation knowing that anyone of them made a difference, or even better, that you made a bigger difference in Sixth College.

- By Beverly Gallagher

For more information, contact Lynne McMullin.