Move-In Day – Part 2!!

Although PC1 AND CAE1 have completed their programs and left campus, we are enlightened with the new faces of PC2, CAE2, EDL & PAD students. Today over 100 students are arriving at the airport/bus/train station while others arriving by car to take part in the incredible opportunities that Summerfuel at Tufts University has to offer. Once again it’s all hands on deck to ensure that registration and check-ins go smoothly.

After the new students arrive, check in, and settle in their rooms, they will head off to orientation to play some ice breakers! After which they head to dinner and then to Carmichael hall for a proper orientation meeting. Once they have finished with orientation, everyone will be looking forward to the smoothie mixer at 9PM where they can drink smoothies and chat with their new classmates. We are eager to see the work that they will participate in while on campus, while also making memories with them at our daily events and weekend excursions.

The RA Perspective – Part 2

Public Speaking Workshop students emcee the Showcase.


As previously mentioned by my colleague in The RA Perspective – Part 1, Summerfuel Resident Assistants play many different roles in our students’ experience. In addition to lockouts, excursions, floor events and check-ins, we also provide the opportunity to develop (or gain!) new skills through Workshops.

Our Pre-College Program offered an array of different workshops this session, from Public Speaking, to Fitness, American History in Boston, and Culture and Cuisine. I am teaching the Theatre Workshop this summer, and I have just said goodbye to my students from the Pre-College Session 1.

I will admit, I was nervous to lead a theatre course with only two students – it was different to the numbers I was used to, and I didn’t want them to feel limited by the small class size. I led a few different exercises with my students; first, we talked about the importance of body language, and watched a few monologues from movies like The Princess Diaries and The Addams Family Values.

Noah’s Monologue from The Notebook at the Theatre Workshop Showcase.


My two students had quite varied backgrounds; one was from NYC and an avid theatre-goer, and the other had not been in a production since primary school. This meant that I had to tailor my workshop to two very different types of students, and using monologues from well-known movies were easy to analyze and draw inspiration from.

In the end, having two students was a blessing because they each received a very personalized Theatre Workshop, and at the same time supported each other beautifully. Their five rehearsals culminated in a showcase, with each student performing a monologue, as well as one scene together. The showcase was performed alongside the Dance Workshop, Public Speaking and Photography students.

– RA Dannie

The RA Perspective – Part 1

As Summerfuel Resident Advisors (RA’s), we wear many different hats for our students. We spend time planning, preparing, and hosting various activities both on and off campus. We ensure that they return safely to their rooms in the evening, and help them get back into their rooms when they lock themselves out. We also offer academic and personal support when asked. The list of our roles goes on and on. We, as RA’s, wear these hats with pride and enthusiasm because we want our students to have an enriching and educational summer experience. As a result of our efforts, we also have the opportunity to receive an enriching summer experience.

For example, the other day I was driving a student to the store to repair his broken phone. During the car ride, we had a conversation about his passions and future plans. He proceeded to describe, in detail, a business plan that he has been working on for the past year. After asking him a myriad of questions, I could tell that he had put a lot of time and thought into his plan. After his phone was fixed, I drove him back to campus.

I walked away from this conversation feeling impressed and inspired. What impressed me most was that his plan was not simply words on a page; he has already begun developing prototypes and speaking with investors; and he is steadily turning his ideas into reality. This conversation inspired me to not only think critically about problems in the world, but also to take real steps in creating thoughtful solutions. I consider myself fortunate to have had this experience, and this is just one example of the many interactions we RA’s have with our students.

At Summerfuel Tufts, we RA’s get the chance to be event planners, marketers, entertainers, chauffers, artists, educators, mentors, and more. Through these roles, we also get the chance to be students—making Summerfuel a place of growth for everyone involved.

Class Highlights: Real-World Activities

 Students in the Pre-College (PC) and College Admissions Edge (CAE) programs have a variety of classes to choose from that teach them relevant topics and ways to apply their knowledge to the real-world. Highlights of the week include the Medical Science Research Class, taught by Nataliya Ryzhenko, and the Economics and Finance class, taught by Galit Eizman. 

Last Wednesday morning in the Medical Science Research Class, a group of students gathered around a table with their professor and observed their agar plates of bacteria. They have been working on natural remedies of preventing bacterial resistance. Specifically, they have attempted this treatment with honey and natural oils. This activity will prepare students well for college classes that attempt similar treatments in science labs. 

This Tuesday morning in the Economics and Finance class, students broke off into groups and established their own factories. They worked on producing fruit, purchasing inputs, and calculating prices. They competed against other groups and tried to sell their products to their friends. In doing so, the students learned firsthand about production costs, profits, and the concept of supply and demand.  

In these classes and amongst others such as Psychology and Community Service, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship, students are learning to apply their knowledge to bigger, real-life situations, all in all readying themselves for the exciting challenges of the college application process and adjusting to life as college students in the near future. 


Boston Excursion

Summerfuel at Tufts aims to make sure our students are not only experiencing what it’s like to live on a college campus but also what it feels like to be a part of a larger community. We accomplish this goal by giving students the option to sign-up for our planned weekend excursions. We recognized that an important part of a college experience is to find fun outside the classroom and bond with those you attend class with. This past weekend on Saturday, July, 6th our students had an opportunity to do just that by taking a trip to the City of Boston and participating in the many different attractions it has to offer. When we arrived in Boston the students were informed of our meeting location and were sent off in groups to explore and enjoy this amazing city. The most popular out of these attractions was the walk and time spent on Newbury Street which is an exciting shopping district within the City.

Students also enjoyed partaking in some of the tour options being offered by our Summerfuel Resident Advisors. These options included the New England Aquarium, Museum of Fine Arts, Freedom Trail, and Harvard University. By the end of the day, no matter where the student chose to spend their time it was evident that the bond between each other was stronger. They had an opportunity to express and share similar interest which led to greater friendships.

A Student’s Take

Our summer at Tufts has been “fueled” in Dewick MacPhie Dining Hall every day. With a constantly changing menu, the dining hall has healthy choices that can accommodate many types of diets–vegetarian and vegan, gluten free, or nut free. These choices make it easy for students to choose healthy options and ensure a home-away-from-home feel.

Farouk, a student in Carmichael Hall, talked to us about his experiences at Summerfuel Tufts and in the dining hall from the past few days.

Staff: “Let me start out by asking you about the dining around here. What do you think of the dining hall and the food options?

Farouk: “I think it’s great, honestly. There’s such a wide variety of food, and like every day it’s something new. And you know, like, feeding over a hundred kids a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is not easy. It’s really good, and especially where I come from, it’s something different and I really like the food here so far.”

Staff: “Okay, so you said especially where you’re coming from. Where is that exactly? How would you compare the food here to where you’re coming from?

Farouk: “Of course. I’m from Switzerland, and the food is more limited there, so we don’t always get as many choices. We sometimes just have one meal for everyone, even if sometimes you have a certain condition, they might not be able to alter the menu and you may just have to stick with that. But definitely here, it seems that if you’re allergic to anything they’ll have an alternative meal for you. It’s really nice and it’s really easy to get to the dining hall. It’s also really great because you see everyone there and it’s not like a tight space. It’s really spread out and a nice environment to eat in.”

Staff: “What did you think about community night last night? Did you enjoy it? ”

Farouk: “No yeah, it was great. I got to learn a lot about my RA, Kevin. He actually showed us this really cool clip of Captain America, the Winter Soldier where he’s in a really small scene. And we were all fascinated by it, and we asked so many questions and bonded over our love of Marvel movies.”

Staff: “Prior to Community Night, had you had a meal with all of your hall-mates?”

Farouk: “Most of them, yeah, because we share the same classes. But some of them I had not spent a lot of time with yet, so it was really cool to finally get to know them and talk to them.”

Staff: “Do you have any other thoughts about your dining experience at Summerfuel Tufts so far?”

Farouk: “I mean, honestly, it’s really great. That’s just the way I would end it. The food quality is also great. Even if maybe they don’t have something you would like, they have something else in case you would want to try something different. When I sit with my friends, there’s a lot of people around, but I can always find space to sit and chat with new people.”

Kicking Off Academics

While the rest of the world watches the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Summerfuel students are hitting the books as they begin their classes. From Cosmology to Medical Science Research, Entrepreneurship, and Journalism, Summerfuel students are hard at work on the Tufts Medford and Somerville campus.

Pre-College Student Maria Martinez says, “It’s rigorous, but it’s worth it,” about her Developmental Psychology class with Dr. Ron Brown. “PC” students work hard in both morning and evening classes, while College Admissions Edge (CAE) students are prepping hard for college admissions and already enjoying the first of their college tours.

For the next few weeks, these students will be attending classes, taking exams, and experiencing college life through the lens of Summerfuel at Tufts University–with opportunities to connect with professors, and to learn to juggle class workloads and homework with their free time and activities.

The Wait – Arrivals Day

Today we kicked off our Tufts Summerfuel 2019 Program and received our first wave of students! Summerfuel Pre-College (PC), Summerfuel College Admissions Edge (CAE), Tufts Summer Research Experience (TSRE), and Tufts College Experience (TCE) made their way to campus today from all over the world. Our staff spent the day in the airport, roaming train stations, and on campus, anxiously waiting to greet the students.

As the traffic of arrivals settled down, the students headed to orientation to get up to speed on how the program works, learn some important rules, and play some icebreaker games! Afterwards, they headed to the Dewick MacPhie dining hall for dinner with new friends. During this meal a Tufts Sustainability Center staff member talked to the students about the campus recycling rules and how important it is to try and reduce waste.

After dinner the students headed back to their dorms to meet with their Resident Advisors, and then it was straight on to our first event of the Summer! The Flavors of the World Mixer is a fun laid back event that combines our two favorite things: making friends and ice cream! Students write down some information about themselves, stick it on the wall in our main lounge, grab their favorite flavor of ice-cream, and mingle with other Summerfuel students. We know some may be tired from a long day of travel, but they won’t want to miss this tasty event!

Tomorrow is our first full day of orientation. Students will get a tour of campus, head to their first classes and experience their first full day of Summerfuel. At night all students will participate in the Greek Cup, the most exciting Olympic style games Tufts campus has ever seen—or at least we think so! Which team will be the Summerfuel champions? Will it be Team Mario, Team Luigi, Team Inky, or Team Blinky?! Check back tomorrow to find out!