Meet the Current PALs

tiffany photoTiffany Suwoto

Major:  Global Economics and Modern Languages
Classification: 4th Year
Home Town: Lawrenceville
Advice for parents: Let your children spread their wings in college, but don't ever be afraid to still be their mom or dad

Favorite place on campus: By the little fountain behind Highland Bakery

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?  
It means being a liaison between parents and the school, so that parents know what's going on at school and can be a part of their child's life still without having to worry.

 

Kaitlyn photoKaitlyn Morse

Major: Civil Engineering with a minor in Spanish
Classification: 4th Year
Home Town: Gainesville, Florida
Advice for parents: Give your student some space but at the same time make sure they know that you have their back. Trust them to make their own smart decisions. However, Georgia Tech is a challenging school so it's important for students to have a strong support network. My advice then is to make sure you stay in touch with your student, give them encouragement, and just be there for them to talk to.

Favorite place on campus: I love sitting out by the Campanile to study or just hang out!

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you? 
As a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader, I enjoy helping students and their families make a smooth and easy transition into Georgia Tech. When everyone is on the same page, this gives students the best chance of success. Also I’ve loved all my time here at Tech so far and really want to show that to others and encourage them to come find that out for themselves as well!

 

jasmine photoJasmine Passade

Major: Electrical Engineering
Classification: 3rd Year
Home Town: Valley Stream, NY
Advice for parents: It's normal to worry but the best thing you can do is be supportive and understanding of your child's difficulties as they transition

Favorite place on campus: campanile

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?
It is an opportunity to help ease the worries of parents and give resources to help their child succeed based on my personal experiences.

 

emelia photoEmelia Funnell

Major: Biomedical Engineering
Classification: 3rd Year
Hometown: Alpharetta, GA
Advice for parents: Your son or daughter is at Georgia Tech which means they are going to reach great heights in the upcoming years; however, not everyone can reach these heights by themselves. Give your student a call, but don’t call to see how their grades are going! Georgia Tech students are already pushing themselves enough and all they need is that call from you to show how much you love them or how proud you are of them.

Favorite Place on Campus: The Lab Café in the Biotech Quad. Studying isn’t so bad here with an incredible view of the city!

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?
I’ve been lucky to find a place like home at Georgia Tech and am thankful for the opportunity to help other students from around the world do the same. Georgia Tech’s strength is not only in the quality of students that we receive, but also in the inclusive and appreciative atmosphere we foster on campus. Integrating students’ parents into our family here in Atlanta is vital to maintaining this standard, and I’m so excited to play a role in connecting parents to our home.

 

sarah photoSarah Harris

Major: Chemical Engineering
Classification: 3rd Year
Home Town: Stone Mountain, GA
Advice for Parents: Allow your children to be on their own, to fully experience what it's like to be independent. College can be scary at first but they are going to okay and they will grow because of it.

Favorite place on campus: Tech Square (it has all my favorite food)

What does being a Parent and Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?
It means giving worrying parents the answers to their questions and providing them with comfort that their child is going to be okay. It also just means providing help wherever possible, whether the question is big or small. Lastly, it means giving families an excuse to hang out on family weekend and Sibs day.

 

subhi photoSubhi Al-Jabi

Major: Biomedical Engineering with the Pre-Health track
Classification: 3rd Year
Home Town: Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Advice for Parents: My advice for parents would be to always stay involved on campus whether it be coming to campus and engaging in all the parent events or staying connected to either your son or daughter while they are spending their time at Georgia Tech! I also advice to always stay in touch with your son or daughter to give them the moral support and positivity boost throughout the semester and year. Trust me parents, we all need those words of wisdom, life advice, and encouragement as we complete our degrees at one of the most difficult universities in the world.

Favorite Place on Campus: My favorite place on campus would be Tech Tower. Every time I walk through this area, I always sense the joy and pride of being a Yellow Jacket at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world: The Georgia Institute of Technology. The iconic Tech Tower and the historical side of campus of where Tech Tower is located always lets me think of the past of when this institution was created and what foundations it was built on which I truly and highly respect. Those foundations are what shape us to help the world of tomorrow by the motto of Progress and Service. Not only that, but it is also pretty close to the stadium which is always a plus! Also the renovations that have just been recently completed around Tech Tower, including Harrison Square, provide a nice, relaxing outdoor environment to relax from all of your studies.

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader feel to you? Being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader helps me feel as a guide to both parents and families when it comes to student life and success at Georgia Tech. Being a Student Leader helps me create a bridge to facilitate parent and student involvement on campus whether it be through the Family Weekend, Sibs Day, information sessions about your student's major or even providing a nice tour of our wonderful campus!!! In my opinion, families are the key to a person's success as a family will help, encourage, enjoy times together, and struggle through hardships together. A student leader of the Parent & Family Programs is to emphasize these qualities and help create a fun, interacting environment between the students and their families whether it be informing and engaging parents about Georgia Tech during on campus events or even bringing families and students together during Georgia Tech's amazing traditions.

 

joyce photoJoyce Kinsey

Major: Industrial Engineering
Classification: 4th Year
Home Town: Mableton, Georgia
Advice for parents: My advice to parents of new college students is to encourage their student to remember that college is not just academics. Advise your student to take a light load for their first semester to get used to college and be able to explore non-academic interests – like joining a club or sports team, and meeting new friends. This will definitely give your student a solid foundation for their next college years.

From my experience, my overall advice to all parents is to stay in contact with your son/daughter and continue to give them words of encouragement. Even if they don’t say it, it means the world to them.

Favorite place on campus: My absolute favorite place is the Roof Garden of the 5th floor at the Clough - when the weather is nice. I love the view it has of both the city and Georgia Tech campus. I have on my bucket list to one-day see fireworks and/or a sunrise on the roof!

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?
My family means everything to me; and I am grateful that through my parents continued involvement, I have been able to push through many challenges of college life and be able to enjoy my college experience more. Being a Parent Program Student Leader allows me to help parents (and other family members) stay involved with their college student’s life through our events, so that everyone can have the best experience at Georgia Tech!

 

madison photoMadison Hunt

Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management
Classification: 3rd Year
Home Town: Fayetteville Georgia
Advice for Parents: Your child is already successful in getting into Tech; don’t put too much pressure on them because Georgia Tech is already strenuous.

Favorite Place on Campus: Clough Rooftop

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?
Being a PAL allows me to give families an experience that will allow them to be involved in their child’s Georgia Tech experience the same way my family is involved in mine.

 

noelle photoNoelle Rajiv

Major: Industrial Engineering
Classification: 3rd Year
Home Town: Dubai, UAE
Advice for parents: My best piece of advice for parents would be to trust your child and give them the space they need to learn, grow and most importantly, make their own mistakes. Up until this point in their lives, you have always been there for them so put your confidence in your child and trust that they will succeed.

Favorite place on campus: the Biotech quad. It’s just a really nice and quiet place to work in, especially during hell week. Surrounded by trees and nature, it feels like a break from reality.

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?
I remember how lost and confused I was as a freshman and an international student coming into Tech. I had no idea what to do, what to expect or what to think at the time. As a PAL, I am hoping to be able to facilitate new students and their families, especially out-of-state and international ones, in their journeys at Tech. I want to be able to give them the support they need to feel welcome in the Yellow Jacket family.

 

matthewMatthew Hopkins

Major: BME
Classification: 1st Year
Home Town: Stafford, Virginia

Advice for Parents: In the years leading up to college you did everything you could to raise your child well. When handling the loss of control in the transition to the institute, it’s comforting to know that your children’s success was fueled by the amount of work it took to support them. They know, deep down, that you are the key foundation to their success. I welcome parents to truly embrace the shift from enacting and enforcing what is right to having active, open discussions with their children to appreciate the mature and well-rounded young adults they have become. Understanding that different personalities, environments, and levels of wisdom typically can cause resistance is a big step towards creating healthier relationships between parents and undergrads.

Favorite Place on Campus: Tech Green. Awesome place to relax in a hammock or throw a frisbee around with a friend!

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you? Working as a Parent & Family Student Leader allows me to help integrate undergraduates and their families into our community here at Georgia Tech. With effort from parents, students, and GT- the common goal of student success and happiness will headline our push towards inclusivity and achievement at one of the best schools in the nation.

 

jeniaJenia Molotkova

Major: Biology
Classification: 1st Year
Home Town: Buford, Georgia

Advice for Parents: Don’t coddle your kids too much; let them learn from their mistakes! The lessons learned this way stick much better.

Favorite Place on Campus: Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB)

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you? To me, being a Student Leader means being a representative of Georgia Tech that can help guide parents in the right direction when it comes to dealing with their children’s journey through life at Tech.

 

Lal Tuzman

Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Classification: 2nd Year
Home Town: Istanbul, Turkey

Advice for Parents: Dear Parents, you’ve raised a child who is very successful and ready to be self-sufficient, to take on the world. Focus on your student’s efforts and not on the grade. College, especially Georgia Tech, can get really hard. Even though it sounds simple, a smile at the end of a phone call or asking if your child needs anything can make your child’s day better.

Favorite Place on Campus: The spot between Bobby Dodd Stadium and Emerson Building. At that spot, the view of the sunset is awesome.

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?  I always look forward to spending time with GT parents and siblings during Parent and Family Programs’ events. I get to meet with incredible parents and siblings every year. As an international student, I am far away from home. For that reason, I get really happy when I can help families with their questions about Georgia Tech, introduce them to all the wonderful opportunities at Tech and hang out with them on Sibs Day and Family Weekend.

 

PAL SENIOR LEADERS

CharlotteCharlotte Goguillon

Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Leading and Managing Human Capital
Classification: 4th Year
Home Town: I never know how to answer this question… but originally French, born in Singapore, lived in Atlanta for 10 years.
Advice for parents: Trust your child. You raised them, and you have done a good job, otherwise they wouldn’t have been accepted to Georgia Tech. So trust them, they will do a good job here, there is no reason for them to not be as successful here at Tech as they were in high school. But do keep in mind that this is a hard school so be understanding and supportive!

Favorite place on campus: is around Tech green. I love being in the sun and there are plenty of tables and chairs around Tech green for students to eat, study, or socialize. Plus it’s in the middle of campus so location wise it is also perfect!

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you? 
One of my favorite parts of being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader is the interaction with prospective students, siblings and parents. The Parent & Family Programs believes that “when parents & families are informed, students benefit”, and I completely agree with that statement. I want to help parents and students alike through showing them that their student is responsible and that if he or she is trusted, he or she will thrive in college. Being a Parents Program Student Leader also means that I have the opportunity to represent Georgia Tech, and that is really important to me as I want to let students and parents know that Tech offers so many different and astounding opportunities so that they do not miss out on the amazing opportunities offered here.

 

abhinav photoAbhinav Jha

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Classification: 4th Year
Home Town: Bangalore, India
Advice for parents:  Lovely parents! In all honesty, I’m no one to give you advice about the wonderful children you have raised :). I reassert that your child is at an excellent school, with an extraordinary student body of good-hearted, socially-aware and well-intentioned students. I am positive that with the right attitude, your child can accomplish anything here. However, I would also give you a light heads up that Georgia Tech is a very challenging school. It is completely normal to feel stressed about the large workload we students need to attend to, which is at the helm of our various other priorities. In this context, I would highly encourage parents to touch base with their children on a regular basis, understand their concerns and provide a positive energy from home. That is how at the end of the day, all of us smile our way through the toughest of Tech challenges. Problem? Solved.

Favorite place on campus: Tech Square

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Leader mean to you? 
As a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader, I highly enjoy working towards building a partnership between the students, their families and Georgia Tech’s faculty. In my opinion, only when these three core entities are on the same page are we better able to help any student towards his or her goals. I personally love to get to know both students and families, connect them to the right opportunities, and work with faculty to ensure it is catering to students’ needs. This position provides me an ideal platform to do so.

 

lynette photoLynette To

Major: Biomedical Engineering
Classification: 4th Year
Home Town: Barrington, Illinois (Northern suburb of Chicago, Illinois)
Advice for parents: Become comfortable with text messaging or e-mailing; sometimes students won’t remember to call all the time or remember at inconvenient times (such as 1 in the morning), so sometimes small texts or e-mails will be the most convenient forms of communications in terms of daily contact.

Favorite place on campus: Side ledge of the Skiles Building facing the Clough; not many people realize it’s easier to get up there than you think.

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?
Being a Parents Program Student Leader lets me connect to and contribute to the Tech community and students by integrating a very important aspect of success in college-- keeping parents updated and engaged. Not only can I help create a better college experience for myself and my classmates but also gain wisdom from the parents I work with.

 

BookerBooker Farrior

Major: Electrical Engineering

Classification: 3rd Year

Home Town: Furlong Pennsylvania

Advice for Parents: Definitely set up a schedule to talk to your college student. It’s very easy for students to get into their studies and forget to contact you so I’d suggest setting a weekly time for a video chat or a phone call. Plus it makes for a pleasant study break!

Favorite place on campus: 4th Floor of the Library. I like going to one of the quietest places on campus so I can get some quality studying done!

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you?

For me, being a Parents Program Student Leader means that I get to be the bridge between families and everything Tech has to offer. It means making connections with all of the families that I come in contact with and making sure that all parties are informed so the students and their families can be as successful as possible.

 
 

brandon photoBrandon Brinker

Major: Materials Science and Engineering

Classification: 3rd Year

Home Town: Powder Springs, GA

Advice for Parents: Try not to get upset with your student if and when they make a mistake, academically or otherwise.  Academically, your student is already facing a great amount of pressure, so the best support you can provide is comfort, letting them know they don’t have to be perfect.  Outside of academics, the next few years will be a major part of your student’s growth, socially, mentally, etc. Keep mistakes in proportion, and again, try to be supportive and comforting as opposed to angry and punishing. With all of the pressure at college do your best to be a great, positive support for your student as they navigate through it all!

Favorite Place on Campus: North end of the Rooftop Garden

What does being a Parent & Family Programs Student Leader mean to you? 

My parents and family have been an integral part of my time and success at Georgia Tech. I want to help other students realize the importance of families and being a PAL offers me the unique opportunity to help keep families connected at Georgia Tech, hopefully making the student body stronger as a whole!