You’re walking down the road, just trying to make it to your 9 am class and all of a sudden you hear: “HI!!!” Who could this be? The one and only Sajel Dutt. This compassionate and energetic Minnesotan has a smile that can melt your heart. With charm comes brainpower for this sophomore Social Policy Analysis Major, and you can find her working hard on global health projects at the OEDK (Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen) or finding new ways to help the refugee students in Houston through PAIR (Partnership for the Advancement and Immerrsion of Refugees). Her passions include singing loudly to Beyoncé or Bollywood music in the silent floors of Fondren Library, eating Pad Thai, and trying to convince people she doesn’t have a Minnesotan accent. You’ll be lucky if you get to see her dance, because Sajel is the captain of the Rice Bollywood dance team at Rice. She loves deep talks and asking questions, and is excited to get to know all of you. The energy Sajel brings to each and every thing she does (including being one of your O-Week PAAs!) is incredible, so get ready to become friends with one of the most genuine and passionate people on campus!
Who is Denizhan Yigitbas? He’s a star soccer player. He’s a computer science god. He’s one of the world’s few remaining Taylor Swift fanboys. But most importantly, he’s your Advisor—and arguably the best Advisor ever. This Turkish DelightTM from Colorado is described by his many friends as extraordinarily outgoing, sometimes funny, always caring, and unbelievably intelligent. As a sophomore double majoring in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Denizhan is very familiar with technology and very unfamiliar with sleep. When he’s not playing intramural soccer, practicing the ukulele, playing Super Smash Bros with his suitemates, working out in the Martel weight room, or listening to Hailee Steinfeld, you can expect Denizhan to be hyping you up with energetic “YAAAAAAAAAAAS”s or making you smile with his infectious laugh. Denizhan often wonders “what it’s like to have a girlfriend” (his words). Denizhan may wonder this for years to come, but you don’t have to wonder what it’s like to have the best Advisor at Martel, because you have him—and his name is Wangden (Denizhan’s pretty good too).
Despite her small hands, Anna (pronounced on-na) is a woman with a big personality. She is a senior majoring in Cognitive Sciences and Psychology. Straight out of the heart of Los Angeles this little ball of joy never fails to make your day. Being a good friend is in Anna’s blood, and she’s been at it for as long as she can remember. In high school, Anna was such an upstanding citizen she even won an award for being nice. Having a bad day? Anna is there for you with a warm hug and some kind words. Have a birthday coming up? Anna is hiding out with 15 other people for your surprise party. Have a big test in your hardest class? Anna is blowing up your phone with adorable motivational dog memes. If you want to get to know Anna (trust me, you do) then all you have to do is show her a picture of a cute puppy, or ask her about her own dogs, Cooper and Ollie. If you ever feel lonely or unpopular just send Anna a text and you’ll get 17 back asking how your day is going because she just cares so much about everyone. Anna is always up for a good time and loves to go out with those she loves, so if you see her out and about don’t be afraid to say hi. If you’re lucky enough to have this incredibly kind, caring, outgoing, tiny little woman as your Advisor, you’re in for an amazing O-Week!
Ladies, gentlemen, and future fans, meet Wangden Sherpa a.k.a. Subtle Sherpa a.k.a. Humble Sherpa a.k.a. Wingdings a.k.a. Chef Wang – a man with a big heart and an even bigger head. (Seriously, hats are very hard for him. Number of birthday hats he has tried to put on: 2; number of birthday hats he has broken while trying to put on: also 2.) This junior from Kathmandu, Nepal is a Computer Science major with a minor in having strong opinions about food. Foods Wangden likes include 1AM Whataburger, tea, pad thai made from servery food, Instant Beef Teriyaki Flavored Yakisoba, not rice pilaf, and spicy food. Foods Wangden doesn’t like include rice pilaf, seafood and arugula. Knowing these foods is key to getting to know Wangden because, much like a zoo animal raised in captivity, the only humans he truly trusts are those who feed him. Unlike a zoo animal raised in captivity, you can usually find Wangden in his natural habitats, which include Lovett commons, the gym, his room at Lovett, the gym, rehearsal for his acapella group, Basmati Beats (which happens to be at Lovett) and the gym. Soon he’ll leave the nest and come to Martel for you, New Students, where you’ll enjoy many savage roasts, Liverpool FC games, and guitar jam sessions with this gem of an Advisor.