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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures

Student Ambassador Bios

Aerin Tsubokawa

Hometown: Chino Hills, CA 

Major and minors: Political Science major with minors in French and Japanese

Fun fact about me: I’ve trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu going on six years now. 

Bio: Bonjour! はじめまして! I’m Aerin Tsubokawa, currently a third-year Political Science major with an emphasis in International Relations, which explains the language double minor. I chose to come to SCU as it offered a wide array of programs on a small, yet beautiful campus full of history. On-campus I’ve been involved in several of SCU’s cultural clubs, which are great places to meet people in a casual and friendly setting. My future goal is to pursue a career in foreign service.

Alex Varni

Hometown: Burlingame, CA

Majors: Communication and Environmental Studies double major

Bio: Hello! ¡Hola! Hallo! My name is Alex Varni and I am a 4th-year student here at Santa Clara University! In addition to being a Student Ambassador, I am also involved on campus as a Research Assistant and as the current President of the Language Learning Club at SCU. Immediately following graduation, I hope to go abroad to teach English before eventually pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Policy and working towards innovative climate change mitigation strategies.

Amaka Nwankwo

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Major: Economics

Fun Facts: I love reading and writing in my free time

Bio: 你好, my name is Amaka Nwankwo and I’m a third-year student at Santa Clara University. As a first-generation American that has traveled to several countries, I have a long-standing appreciation for the unique cultures found around the world. This has spawned my love for learning new languages and I’m currently fluent in Igbo (a Nigerian language) and have intermediate proficiency in French and Mandarin. As a MODLL student ambassador, I have long benefited from the great Mandarin Chinese program at SCU and hope to continue improving my skills. 谢谢!

Andrew Cardellini

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Major and Minors: Political Science major and triple minor in International Business, Sociology, and Italian.

Fun Facts: I enjoy playing soccer, basketball, and tennis in my free time!

Bio: Ciao! My name is Andrew Cardellini and I am currently a sophomore here at SCU. I am majoring in Political Science and triple minoring in International Business, Sociology, and Italian. I come from a mixed-heritage family, where my father is Italian and my mother is Mexican, so while I am studying Italian at school, my Spanish isn’t too bad either! Aside from being a student ambassador, I am involved in the Cultural Italian-American Organization (CIAO club) on campus and am also a Health Ambassador, so feel free to say hello when walking past the covid information table outside of Benson! I will also be studying abroad in Milan, Italy next fall (if the pandemic allows it) which I am super stoked about. In terms of future career, I hope to one day work in political statistics and conduct research in the field of elections and in the greater political realm, maybe even through a comparative politics lens that would allow me to observe patterns in different countries, which I’m sure, would lead me to come in contact with many of the world's languages. How exciting! I cannot wait to interact with you all, and remember, go broncos!

Brigitte Mepham

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Major and Minor: Biology major and Spanish minor

Bio: Hola! Me llamo Brigitte. I am a third-year from Portland, Oregon, and a Biology major. I am a Spanish minor hoping to use my Spanish in the medical field after graduation. At Santa Clara, I am an EMT and I work at Kids on Campus. My plans to study abroad in Madrid got canceled due to COVID- but I had the chance to live with a host family in Valencia for a month in high school. I would like to teach English in Spain for a year after graduating. A fun fact is that I am a Canadian citizen!

Caitlin Toth 

Hometown: San Diego, California

Major and minors: Biology and Spanish double major. Biotechnology and Latin American Studies double minor. 

Fun fact about me: I research worms! Never thought I’d say that. 

Bio: Hi! ¡Hola! I’m Caitlin and I’m a third-year studying an assortment of things in SCU’s College of Arts and Sciences. I love languages and the way they enable each of us to share human experiences. Right now, I’m studying Spanish academically and am learning Portuguese on the side. At SCU, I work in the Undergraduate Admissions office as a Student Ambassador (yes I give tours) and a student Researcher in the Biology Department. Last summer I was a Jean Donovan Fellow working with a San Diego nonprofit as well as doing genetics research as a Clare Booth Luce Scholar. I’m thrilled to be here and excited to meetcha!

Camila Calle

Hometown: Perry Hall, MD

Majors: Spanish, Public Health, and Biology

Fun fact about me: I lived in Ecuador for two years during high school!

Bio: Hello! ¡Hola! I am Camila and I am a third-year student at SCU. I am currently majoring in Spanish, Public Health, and Biology. I love Santa Clara because of how easy it has become a second home, with professors and students all being so welcoming. I have enjoyed my time working with the Ignatian Center where I am a student assistant for the Thriving Neighbors Initiative. I also have taken part in the immersions offered and went to Costa Rica! I am part of LEAD which is a program that supports first-generation students and has been an amazing resource throughout these years. I am on the executive board for the SCU Pre-Dental Society! I hope to use all my experiences to pursue a career in dentistry.

Elena Middlemass

Hometown: Burlingame, California

Major and Minor: Political Science major and History minor

Fun fact about me: I enjoy cooking and baking in my free time.

Bio: Hallo und Guten Tag! My name is Elena Middlemass, and I am currently a second-year student at Santa Clara University. I am a political science major and history minor. I love Santa Clara University for its vibrant community, its endless academic opportunities, and its beautiful campus. Beyond the classroom, my involvements include working as a German tutor, managing the logistics team for Splash (an academic outreach program), and volunteering for the Office of Accessible Education. After my undergraduate career, I plan on attending law school to become a lawyer.

Elena Shaheen

Hometown: Salinas, CA

Major and Minors: Public Health major and minors in Biology and AIMES

Bio:! اهلاً وسهلاً My name is Elena Shaheen and I am a third-year majoring in Public Health Science and double minoring in Biology and Arabic, Islamic, & Middle Eastern Studies (AIMES). I chose Santa Clara University because of its mission of educating the whole person and graduating persons for others. In addition to being a Student Ambassador on campus, I also hold leadership positions in the SCU Pre-Dental Society and the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Club, and I am a part of the SCU Women’s Club Soccer team and the Middle East and North African (MENA) Club. My future goal is to pursue a career in dentistry to become a general dentist with a focus on helping bridge oral health disparities in underserved communities. Go Broncos!

Francesca D'Urzo

Majors: English and Italian double major

Bio: Hello! My name is Francesca D’Urzo, and I am a first-year English and Italian double major. One of the many reasons why Santa Clara was my first choice of university is because of its incredible Modern Language Department. On-campus, along with being a student ambassador, I am also a member of the Santa Clara Dance Team and the Cultural Italian American Organization. My future goals are to hopefully attend law school and pursue a writing-based career in this field. I am very grateful to be a student ambassador at such an amazing university!

Jacklin Kertayasa

Hometown: Fremont, California

Majors: Economics and Marketing double major

Bio: Hi, Apa kabar, こんにちは, 大家好! I’m currently a second-year student at SCU majoring in economics and marketing and minoring in international business and Japanese. In addition to being a student ambassador, I’m currently involved in the Global Innovation Fellowship and the YEP program at SCU. I love traveling and studying different languages and cultures. I’ve had the chance to study abroad in Japan and Taiwan in high school, and I’m hoping to study abroad in South Korea next year. I’ve really enjoyed my Japanese and beginner Chinese classes at SCU and I’m hoping that I can help other students have a great experience too!

Natalie Flynn

Hometown: Los Gatos, California

Major in college: Finance with a Minor in Italian Studies 

Bio: Hello there! My name is Natalie Flynn, and I am currently a second-year student at Santa Clara University. Aside from being a Student Ambassador, I am also involved on campus through a variety of clubs like the Italian club which I am an officer of. I am also a Peer Advisor in the Business school and a peer educator of the Italian first years. I hope to study abroad in Italy and after graduation work in Italy, hopefully. Ciao!

Rachel Chung

Hometown: Cupertino, California

Majors: Finance, Political Science

Bio: Hello! 你好!السَّلامُ عَلَيكم! My name is Rachel Chung and I am a second-year Finance and Political Science double major from Cupertino, California. I was born and raised in a multicultural household in the Bay Area and have always been immersed in many languages and cultures. Beyond the classroom, my interests include dance, music, and photography, and I have also been involved on campus in SCU Hipnotik and Gallery. As a MODLL student ambassador, I am excited to share both my experiences and passion for languages and cultures with the community!

Sean Brady

Hometown: Springfield, Missouri

Major: Computer Science major

Bio: 你好!My name is Sean Brady. I am a current first-year student at Santa Clara University and began my Chinese studies this year. Aside from Mandarin, I love learning about computers and I really enjoy working out. I am very excited to help support the program and encourage my peers to explore the wonders of foreign languages.


Tammy Ngo

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Major: Undeclared Business

Bio: 大家好! Hi, my name is Tammy Ngo and I am a first-year at Santa Clara University. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California, and am currently an Undeclared Business Major. My interests include sports, cooking, and K-pop, and hip-hop dance. Along with being a MODLL Student Ambassador, I’m also a Freshman Representative for the Chinese Student Association (CSA) and a member of the LEAD Scholars Program. I’m currently taking Intermediate Chinese classes at SCU and hope to encourage others to join the language programs here!

Ursula Roscigno

Hometown: Rome, Italy

Majors and minor: Marketing & Italian Studies double major and International business minor

Fun Fact: I’ve lived in 4 different countries :)

Bio: Hi! My name is Ursula Roscigno, I am a sophomore Marketing and Italian major minoring in International Business. I came to Santa Clara as an International Student from a multicultural background (Italian and Filipino). Aside from the Modern Language Ambassador Program, I’m also involved as an officer of the Cultural Italian American Organization, a member of the Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity, an Italian Peer Educator in the Modern Language Department, and a member of the ACE leadership program. In my free time, I love cooking, making Spotify playlists, and watching F1 races.

Willy Martinez

Hometown: West Covina, California

Major and Minor: French major and Urban Education minor

Fun Fact: I LOVE sandwiches!

Bio: Bonjour! My name is Willy Martinez. I am a second-year, majoring in French and Francophone Studies and minoring in Urban Education. I chose to join the Santa Clara community because of its commitment to educating the whole person, its emphasis on being of service, and the opportunities to interact with and gain perspective on the world outside of Santa Clara, CA. Apart from being a MODLL Student Ambassador, I volunteer in the scene shop in Mayer Theater, play for the Men’s Club Volleyball team, am a Future Teacher’s Project scholar, tutor in the Drahmann Center, and peer educator in the French Department. After college, I’d love to keep exploring different cultures around the world and one day teach at the high school level. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the modern languages at SCU and can’t wait to help you out in any way I can!