Sinai '17 and Mellyssa '17 on the Colors of Success

February 29, 2016

Sinai and Mellyssa

Sinai Sampson-Hill '17 and Mellyssa De Paiva '17 filled us in on diversity on campus — and the Colors of Success event happening tonight!

What's your major at Simmons?

Sinai: Arts administration

Mellyssa: International relations and political science.

What made you choose your major?

S: I’ve been immersed in the arts since I was young and wanted to pursue a career where I can support the industry.

M: A calling to help people in the large scale of international politics. I believe that the problems of the next century can only be solved if people with real passion are the folks in the room trying to figure out how to bring peace to some of the most volatile regions around the globe.

What's your favorite class you've taken so far?

S: The New York arts administration class, which happens every other summer. It was so great to be able to study the arts in a very important cultural capital.

M: Human Rights: Basic Dilemmas with the always brilliant Professor Zuckerwise. It falls right at the heart of why I picked my major — and Professor Zuckerwise never fails to make courses both engaging and challenging.

Tell us about the Colors of Success event.

S: Colors of Success is usually an event that happens annually in the Fall and welcomes students of color into the new school year. We wanted to have an event in the Spring that focused on celebrating our multicultural community and their efforts to make Simmons a better institution for everyone.

M: It's a follow-up event during Women's Centered College Week to a previous breakfast that happened in the Fall to celebrate diversity on campus.

What inspired you to organize the event? Why should students attend?

S: It was our Like Minds adviser, Lisa Smith-McQueenie’s idea to have the event. Students should attend because visibility and support for students of color on campus is very important in cultivating a positive experience for us.

M: We inherited the responsibility and honor to plan this amazing event through the Like Minds Coalition with Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Lisa Smith-McQueenie. We hope to see all the multicultural folks and allies join us for a more informal and celebration centered event.

What topics does the event focus on?

S: We centered our event around unity and activism. We hope that the collective efforts of students of color are recognized and hope to inspire others to work together to continue the efforts to create real change and justice for marginalized groups.

M: This event is about the celebration and visibility of the multicultural community at Simmons. We hope to see our communities join in for a more informal and relaxed event, to catch up and make further connections across multicultural lines.

How did you two meet and become friends?

S: Mellyssa and I lived on the same floor in Morse Hall our first year. We became closer when we both joined the Like Minds Coalition E-board this year. When I had to take a medical leave last semester, she took over my position as Diversity and Inclusion Officer in the Student Government Association, which I’m very grateful for. She’s done a great job — and now that I’m back we’ve been working together on events and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

M: Sinai was actually one of the first people I met at Simmons. We were on the same floor in Morse Hall our first year and our friendship has been growing since those first days at Simmons. We've really gotten to know each other in the past year though the work we do with the Like Minds Coalition and as Co-Chairs and Diversity and Inclusion Officers for the Student Government Association.

What's your Simmons moment?

S: Giving my speech at the scholarship brunch was my Simmons moment. I was so happy to have the opportunity to speak directly to my donor about how my scholarship has opened so many doors for me. It’s been a few years since I made that speech, but my sentiment remains the same. Had I not gone to Simmons, I don’t think I would have gained the confidence to be a student leader who can bring about change to the community. The student body is super supportive; I can’t see myself anywhere else.

M: Becoming a Residence Adviser (RA), and quite recently, being given the opportunity to be a Head Resident Adviser (HRA) next year. I've found that my work with the residential community is central to my expression of student leadership and ability to give back to this place that I love so much. Simmons is my home, and I want to share that sentiment — of really feeling at home here — with other students. That's key to creating the truly accepting and open environment which has attracted so many of us to come to Simmons in the first place.

Learn more about the Colors of Success event hosted on February 29th at 6 p.m. in the School of Management, room M501.

Left: Mellyssa De Paiva Right: Sinai Sampson-Hill