Meet Our Students

Find out what some Suffolk University students have to say about how they like going to school here and what they like to do around the city of Boston.

Abby Thornhill

Hometown: Portland, OR
Major/Minor: Major: Biochemistry major & Forensic Science minor
Class: 2023

Clubs and Organizations: Vice President of the Suffolk University Forensic Science Society, Orientation Leader, College of Arts & Sciences Honors Program, Trustee Ambassador for the Undergraduate Admissions Office

Favorite Boston Spot: Sitting on the ICA steps in Seaport, especially at night with friends!

What’s one thing people should know about Boston?: There are endless opportunities here and college students everywhere. There’s always something to do and people to meet. I’m constantly discovering new places and learning fun, historical facts about Boston every time I go for a walk around the city.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: YouTube drama channel videos about Youtubers I don’t watch

What is your passion?: Helping others and making people laugh

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk?: I like to say Suffolk is like Cheers; it’s “where everyone knows your name.” In my two years here, I’ve gotten to know the security guards, dining hall staff, and professors on a personal level. I love having the contrast between the big city of Boston and the small, close-knit community here at Suffolk. 

How has Suffolk surprised you?: When people at Suffolk say “the city’s our campus,” they’re not joking. Suffolk is literally in the heart of the city. As a student here, I’m constantly surrounded by culture, art, and history. I lived in Smith Hall my freshman year and walked the Freedom Trail every day to class. I would walk by the State House, the Boston Common, and the Granary Burying Ground every single day. We’re also just a short walk (or T ride) to the Boston Public Gardens, North End, Museum of Fine Art, the Boston Harbor, etc. There’s no college experience like the one here at Suffolk University.

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): My favorite part about my time at Suffolk so far has been getting involved on campus! I joined the Forensic Science Society halfway through my sophomore year while doing virtual classes. It very quickly became what I looked forward to most out of my week! I love having a break from classes to just chat with my friends about something we’re all passionate about. I’ve met some of my best friends through getting involved and I cannot recommend it enough!

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Head shot of Abby Thornhill.

Alessandra (Ali) Rera

Hometown: Danville, NH
Major/Minor: Biology major with a concentration in Health and English minor
Class: 2025

Clubs and Organizations: Alternative Spring Break, CAS Honors Program, Pinky Swear Pack, Program Council, RAMP Mentorship Program, Women’s Advocacy Club, Trustee Ambassador for the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Favorite Boston Spot: The Boston Common Frog Pond.

What’s one thing people should know about Boston? There is so much to see and do, and public transportation makes it super easy to explore the whole city!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? Karaoke nights with friends!

What is your passion? Science, especially Biology

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk? Suffolk is truly in the center of Boston, surrounded by so many cool spots like the Boston Commons, Chinatown and the North End. Suffolk also holds many fun events on campus every week, so there is always something new to do here, whether on or off campus!

How has Suffolk surprised you? There are so many different types of students here at Suffolk, and I was surprised by how quickly I met such a great group of positive and inspiring friends, as well as continuing to meet new people every day!

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): Making a “Penguin PJs” themed Holiday card with my friends on our floor of Miller Hall!

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Alessandra (Ali) Rera

Cheryl Aikins

Hometown: Worcester, MA
Major/Minor: Finance major and Business Law minor
Class: 2023

Clubs and Organizations: President of Soulfully Versed, Member of Black Student Union and the Black Student Union Event Planning Committee, Member of Caribbean Student Union, Trustee Ambassador for the Undergraduate Admissions Office, Member of the Sawyer Business School Honors Program.

Favorite Boston Spot: Seaport District

What’s one thing people should know about Boston? There is always something to explore in this vibrant, culture-filled city.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream.

What is your passion? Human rights activism. I am an activist who believes in fighting for marginalized people who cannot speak up for themselves. On that note, I am extremely passionate about speaking out against systems of oppression such as racism, sexism, and xenophobia.

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk? Suffolk is not just an educational institution, it is an environment that fosters community, leadership, and greater social awareness.

How has Suffolk surprised you? I expected the faculty to be helpful, but I never expected my professors and other faculty members to be as caring and committed to excellence as they are.

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): Being one of three student speakers at Mr. Leonard J. Samia’s scholarship luncheon.

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Portrait of Cheryl Afriyie Aikins.

Chloe Syzc

Hometown: Hatfield, PA
Major/Minor: Major: International Relations
Class: Class of 2024

Clubs and Organizations: First Year Experience Teaching Assistant, Connect the Dots, Trustee Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Global Gateway Program

Favorite Boston Spot: The dog park in the Boston Common.

What’s one thing people should know about Boston?: This city is a great size to explore but not too big where you feel lost. The public transit system is so easy to navigate and you can go to completely different areas of the City like Chinatown, the North End, or the Back Bay and never be bored.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I love reality TV. I know it can be a waste of time, but it always draws me in.

What is your passion?: I love to travel and see the world, and any opportunity I get to do so, I take it!

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk?: The location of Suffolk’s campus just can’t be beat! I am right in the middle of the hustle and bustle and there is always something to do either on or off campus!

How has Suffolk surprised you?: Something really great about Suffolk is how willing everyone is to help you find the answers to your questions. I could go to my Resident Assistant or my Teaching Assistant with questions, and if they didn’t know the answer, they would send me to someone that would. I never felt like I had no one to go to for help!

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): I was able to go to a Boston Red Sox game with all of my friends for a discounted price thanks to Suffolk. My seat was amazing and they won!

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Portrait of Chole Syzc.

Connor Madsen

Hometown: Broad Brook, CT
Major/Minor: Advertising and Public Relations 
Class: 2024

Clubs and Organizations: Trustee Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Favorite Boston Spot: Boston Public Garden

bOne thing people should know about Boston is that the City is a very warm and welcoming place for all types of people.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: My biggest guilty pleasure is spending the majority of my free time on TikTok and Instagram.

What is your passion?: I have a strong passion for Psychology, music, and singing.

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk?: Suffolk has a great tutoring program that my friends and I used last semester to help refine our grammar and writing skills.

How has Suffolk surprised you?: Suffolk has surprised me with the how much the City really is our campus. I was unsure about Suffolk because it’s a non-traditional campus, but walking around the Boston Commons proved to me daily that Boston itself was my campus.

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): “Build a Rammy” in September of my first semester because I met so many of my friends going to this Program Council event.

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Portrait of Connor Madsen

Emma Weiss

Hometown: Dedham, MA
Major/Minor: Criminal Justice major and psychology Minor
Class: 2023

Clubs and Organizations: UNICEF, Her Campus, Trustee Ambassador for Suffolk University Admissions Office.

Favorite Boston Spot: My favorite Boston spot is Newbury Street and Faneuil Hall! Also, my favorite place to grab a latte and do homework is Tatte, specifically the Boylston Street location!

What’s one thing people should know about Boston?: You WILL figure out how The T works, I promise!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: True Crime documentaries before bed.

What is your passion?: To help innocent youth escape human trafficking and help children who were inevitably and unknowingly born into a life of crime.

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk?: There is no other college in Boston with a campus quite like Suffolk’s – it is right in the center of downtown Boston, and it does not get much better than that!

How has Suffolk surprised you?: After transferring to Suffolk from a very small college, I realized how many unique, diverse, and special people I could meet. With 17% of the student body being international students, I have got to learn about so many different people’s cultures and grown more educated through every interaction.

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): Having movie nights with my roommates – people who I did not even know existed before Fall 2021, that have now become my life long best friends.

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Emma Weiss

Irene Kirabo

Hometown: Lowell, MA
Major/Minor: Major: Law major with a minor in Philosophy
Class: 2025

Clubs and Organizations: Black Student Union, ASA, HAFA, SULA, CAS Honors Program, RAMP, Suffolk Law Scholars Program, Commuters Club, SGA, Asian American Association

Favorite Boston Spot: Downtown

What’s one thing people should know about Boston?: It is full of opportunities.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I do not have one.

What is your passion?: My passion is advocacy and helping those who are in need. I am pursuing a career as a criminal litigator. I want to use my law degree to help African Americans fight the injustices in the American justice system as well as help advocate for those that are not able to advocate for themselves. I want to help people know their rights so one takes advantage of them. Currently, I am working as a Legal Assistant at a law firm where I get to practice my passion.

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk?: There is always a program or someone to assist you with any help you might need. For instance, throughout my education math has never been my strong suit. Nevertheless, I did my best and always got good grades. Here at Suffolk, I did my best in math but I still needed help understanding the information. Therefore, I received free tutoring from my professor and I utilized the free tutoring drop in hours inside the 73 Tremont Building. These free tutoring sessions are hosted by the Center for Learning and Academic Success. They are available by appointments or you can utilize the drop-in hours like me.

How has Suffolk surprised you?: Its extensive programs and services. I am not a breakfast person but as someone who commutes from far I rarely have time for breakfast anyway. Despite this, I often need a snack or something to eat before and in between classes. Thus, I have been going to the Coffee Hour hosted by Suffolk’s Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion. The coffee hour is basically free breakfast in Sawyer every Thursday morning. They have bagels, coffee, juice, snacks and some candy.

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): The staff and students are always eager to lend a helping hand. During my first semester at Suffolk, I met Lindsay who is an awesome person that works in the Suffolk Student Involvement Office. She immediately saw me and engaged in a conversation with me. Being new to Suffolk I did not know much about the community and Lindsay made my 18th birthday memorable. She gave me suggestions of great ways to spend it in Boston such as a picnic at the Boston Public Garden, a walk through Boston Common etc. In another instance, Sonia, a reference librarian in the 73 Tremont Sawyer Library has been a great aid to me. Sonia who is now a good friend of mine has helped me with my research projects and informed me of events and opportunities geared towards my passion.

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Irene Kirabo

Jailene Colón

Hometown: Providence, RI
Major/Minor: Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy & Law
Class: 2024

Clubs and Organizations: Work Study position at the Student Affairs Office and a Trustee Ambassador for the Undergraduate Admissions Office

Favorite Boston Spot: The Commons and Mooyah

What’s one thing people should know about Boston? It’s busy, busy, busy! Boston is the city where you’ll see people anywhere and everywhere. Begin to get used to the idea that you’ll be surrounded by tourists, other students, professionals and native Bostonians everywhere you go; people are usually super friendly and helpful though - don't get intimidated!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? The show Friends and strawberry ice cream. That combo is dangerous.

What is your passion? I want to be able to provide people with opportunities they never even thought of having access to before. Being able to help others succeed and get out of tough situations is something I see myself doing.

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk? You’re never alone at Suffolk. There is literally an entire club, office, organization or even friend group that’s readily available to help and support you in any way possible.

How has Suffolk surprised you? Suffolk has surprised me in many ways, but I think it has mostly surprised me regarding its history. I’m a history geek and truly was not expecting the role that Suffolk’s creation and reputation would have on Boston and even Massachusetts history.

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far):  Truly would have to be the academics. I take my education super seriously. I transferred high schools at one point because I didn’t think I was learning enough. Suffolk challenges me in ways that I never thought possible. I genuinely am interested in the classes I am taking and am learning in every lecture/lesson. The professors are outstanding, and I appreciate how dedicated they are to their work.

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Portrait or Jailene Colon.

Liam McManus

Hometown: Cheshire, CT
Major/Minor: Major: Marketing major with a concentration in Sports Marketing
Class: 2024

Clubs and Organizations: Trustee Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Favorite Boston Spot: The Commons or El Jefes Taqueria.

What’s one thing people should know about Boston? Boston has so many different things to offer all around the city and even outside of the city. Embrace everything that is unusual while you’re here and don’t be afraid of new experiences.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? Shopping either online or in person.

What is your passion? My passions are playing hockey, learning new skills, and music!

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk? Suffolk is such a welcoming school, and you shouldn’t be afraid to do anything here at Suffolk! A lot of the time the person sitting next to you in class might be feeling how you’re feeling! Don’t be afraid to talk to that person and don’t be afraid to explore everything Suffolk has to offer for you!

How has Suffolk surprised you? Coming from a smaller school where the ratio was usually 10 students to 1 professor, I was worried that I’d lose that connection that I had with professors at that school. But I’m happy to say that it surprised me when I saw the professors making a large effort to make sure that connection is there with students.

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): All the different programs that the Program Council has put on so far! I was able to meet other transfers and non-transfers while I was there!

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Liam McManus

Lindsay Dieudonne

Hometown: Dorchester, MA
Major/Minor: Major: Political Science / Law and Public policy and Black Studies minor
Class: 2023

Clubs and Organizations: Student Leadership and Involvement Office, McNair Scholars Program, President of the Black Student Union, Treasurer of the Caribbean Student Network, Resident Assistant, and Trustee Ambassador for the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Favorite Boston Spot: Ripple Café at Ashmont Station, right off of the Red Line!

What’s one thing people should know about Boston?: There’s more to it than just downtown! Explore with a friend to see the history that goes beyond what the tour buses can give you, and visit authentic cultural cuisines and communities all around the city.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Dr. pimple popper

What is your passion?: Community, justice, and diversity.

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk?: There’s always something to do and people to meet! You’ll never be bored.

How has Suffolk surprised you?: A plethora of majors to choose from that cater to different fields!

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): Working in the Student Leadership & Involvement Office and finding my community here!

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Portrait of Lindsay Saraina Dieudonne.

Logan Gozzi

Hometown: Natick, MA
Major/Minor: Pre-Law
Class: 2024

Clubs and Organizations: Connect the Dots Program, Learning Management System Review Committee, Trustee Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admission

Favorite Boston Spot: The Commonwealth Avenue Mall during the Fall.

What’s one thing people should know about Boston? Boston is filled with so many opportunities. Boston is one of few cities to have a public park within a 10 minute walk of every home! Right next door is the Boston Common, Public Garden, Esplanade and Harborwalk to name a few. Fenway Park, TD Garden and Faneuil Hall are also close to campus as well. In addition, we have many opportunities for internships in the nearby Financial District, Government Center and Seaport.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? Chipotle, with guac of course!

What is your passion? Skiing! I raced slalom for 4 years in high school.

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk? How kind and accepting everyone truly is on campus. Whether it be students, staff, or faculty we all strive to ensure that the campus atmosphere feels like you’re a part of our Ramily.

How has Suffolk surprised you? Just how easy it is to build relationships. Since our class sizes are small, I’m able to bond with all of my professors and they know me by name, which is very common here at Suffolk. Living on campus in the heart of Downtown Boston not only helped me make friends at Suffolk but also allowed me to make friends with students at nearby schools as well!

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): Getting on the Dean's List for my first semester in college!

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Logan Gozzi

Rose Beardmore

Hometown: Lunenburg, Massachusetts
Major/Minor: English Literature and Theatre double major
Class: 2024

Clubs and Organizations: CAS Honors Program, Theatre Department Productions, Study Abroad, Trustee Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Favorite Boston Spot: Trident Booksellers

What’s one thing people should know about Boston?: You can appreciate the city most when you aren’t rushing between classes. Take a walk! Odds are you’ll find your new favorite restaurant or study spot.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: YouTube bookshelf tours.

What is your passion?: Storytelling in all its mediums, both as an audience member and as an artist! I’ve loved literature and theatre for as long as I can remember—stories bring people together.

What’s one thing people should know about Suffolk?: There’s a community for everyone here. Suffolk is a diverse community full of passionate students, so there’s a niche for just about every social and academic interest!

How has Suffolk surprised you?: As a transfer, I was terrified of feeling isolated at a new school but Suffolk has been nothing but welcoming. Boston feels like home and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

Highlight of your Suffolk experience (so far): Playing the titular role in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at Downtown Crossing. The Theatre Department built the stage right on top of the subway station, and we got to perform in the open air! It was incredible.

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Rose Beardmore