Italian Studies UDRs

Undergraduate departmental representatives serve as a resource and representative for fellow majors and minors and potential majors and minors, and bring student concerns and/or ideas to the program faculty. They also provide feedback to the program chair, undergraduate advising head, and faculty regarding scheduling problems, course offerings, etc. and help organize events for majors, minors and other interested students.

2021-22 UDRs

Lang Cheng
Class of 2024

My name is Lang and I am a sophomore majoring in Environmental Studies and Italian Studies and minoring in Climate Justice, Science, and Policy. I am part of the Southeast Asia Club on campus and enjoy going to events hosted by other cultural clubs. I am also involved with Herbicide-Free Brandeis, an environmental organization that is advocating for Brandeis to transition from using synthetic herbicides to sustainable, organic landscaping methods. Off campus, I work at the Lemberg Children's Center and in my free time, I like to go on long walks, watch horror movies with friends, and listen to movie soundtracks. I have been learning Italian since middle school and I am also a native speaker of Mandarin and Cantonese.

Liana Perlman
Class of 2023

My name is Liana Perlman (she/her/hers). I am a junior (class of 2023) currently majoring in vocal performance in the Music Department and minoring in Italian Studies. On campus, I am a member of the University Chamber Singers and have previously been involved with the Undergraduate Theater Collective. Off-campus, I am a substitute teacher at a Jewish pre-K children's center in Needham, MA. I am a midyear student, and I studied abroad in Florence, Italy my first semester (Fall 2019). I'm hoping to one day become a choir conductor and lead incredible college and professional choirs. I'm so excited to be starting on that journey here at Brandeis! You'll likely find me in the Slosberg music building practicing voice or piano or just doing homework. A little interesting tidbit about me is that I used to be fluent in Hebrew, and I lived in Jerusalem, Israel for 6 months when I was about 10 years old! Unfortunately, I've lost all my conversational Hebrew. I'm so excited to be involved with ROMs as a UDR!

Nicholas Simonetti
Class of 2022

I am majoring in Economics and Business Administration and minoring in Italian Studies. I am an A Team member for TRON, the men's competitive ultimate Frisbee team. I have not studied abroad, but I would be open to the idea in my senior year. My dream job would be owning a successful restaurant somewhere in Northern Italy. In my free time I like to work out, play piano and read literature. I try to maintain my Italian by conversing with native speakers and watching Italian YouTubers. Over the past few summers, I have worked as a chemical sales associate at a swimming pool store and have helped clear up customers' pools.

Independent Interdisciplinary Major UDR

photo of Elizabeth Fricker
Elizabeth Fricker
Class of 2022

I am a senior at Brandeis with an IIM in History of Science and a double major in Mathematics. My IIM focuses on developments in mathematics, physics, and philosophy in the Early Modern and Modern periods. To me, the IIM program was an opportunity to delve into my particular area of interest and prepare for my goals post-Brandeis. Outside of academics, I can usually be found going for walks, painting, working at the Center for Spiritual Life, or reading.

Wherever you are in your IIM journey (or even if you just want to chat), please reach out! I’m excited to help you with one of the most unique and rewarding programs that Brandeis has to offer.

IIM Academic Adviser

photo of Kate Colahan
Kate Colahan
IIM Coordinator, Assistant Director, Academic Advising

Kate works on the advising team and coordinates the Independent Interdisciplinary Major (IIM), which allows students the opportunity to develop a unique course of study. She joined the Academic Services team in 2010 as the SSSP Department Coordinator, and after a brief time away to pursue a master’s degree, she returned in 2014 as an Academic Advisor. Kate holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Tufts University and an Ed.M. in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Kate is particularly interested in issues related to college access and persistence, the first-year student experience, and helping students navigate the search for purpose and meaning.

In her free time, Kate enjoys playing with her dogs Riley and Milo, strategy board games, knitting, reading both fiction and non-fiction, and exploring new places.