Student Highlight: Evangelos Nikitopoulos, ’17

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Hello! My name is Monica Chin, and I’m a first-year student from Lakeville, Connecticut. I have not yet decided on a concentration, but am leaning towards English with a focus in nonfiction writing. Through this column, I will feature a different Brown student each week. I hope to give visitors to this blog a taste of the Brown community, and to give a slice of our talented, passionate, diverse student body! 

Evangelos Nikitopoulos has a very long name, but his friends call him “Vaki” for short. Vaki is 67.5 inches tall and weighs 151.2 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. His mother is from California, and his father is from Kalmata, Greece. He hopes to be a physician and scientist in neurology and neurobiochemistry, and enjoys playing classical guitar and exercising in his spare time. With such diverse interests and commitments, it’s a wonder that Vaki even found time to do this interview. He speaks quickly, sharply, and efficiently, with the cadence of someone who has school, scheduling, and life down to a science.

Class Year: 2017

Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Concentration: Either Applied Math-Biology, Neuroscience, or Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Current Classes: I am taking NEUR 1020 (Principles of Neurobiology), CHEM 0350 (Organic Chemistry), MATH 0520 (Linear Algebra), FREN 0600 (Writing and Speaking French II), and PHIL 0250 (The Meaning of Life).

Current Extracurriculars: I tutor a 16-year-old from Nepal through Brown Refugee You Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE), I am a strength and conditioning coach for a middle school wrestling team (Beat the Streets Providence), I am on the “A Day on College Hill” (ADOCH) Planning Committee, I am a member of the Brown Alzheimer’s Activists, I am a tour guide, and I am in the Brown Religious Literacy Project.

Favorite Class? MATH 0200 (Multivariable Calculus for Physicists and Engineers)

Why did you choose Brown? I chose Brown for the student body. I am someone who is extremely focused and intensely interested in my particular fields of study but who also enjoys and appreciates pretty much all of academia. I wanted the university I would attend to have the same kind of people, and Brown students fit that description. Everyone appreciates a wide variety of fields while still being very focused and passionate about a particular field.

Favorite thing about Brown: My favorite thing about Brown is the number of opportunities I have to do things. Any class I want to take, any activity I want to do, is available.

If you could change one thing about Brown, what would it be? I would have a group of people totally overhaul the computer services/websites/anything online.

Favorite study spot: The private rooms on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 12th floors of the Sciences Library.

A story from your Brown experience thus far: The weekend before “Reading Period,” there were many people who were sloppy drunk. My friends and I walked back into our dorm’s lounge to chat for awhile, when we see a guy in a sleeveless, red shirt standing outside the room, looking at us with an odd look on his face through a window. He was holding a red block of Lego the size of my chest. He stared at us and moved his hand up and down vigorously for awhile before coming into the lounge. Once he go in, he told us to keep it down. You see; the problem was that we were not actually even talking in the first place. So we expressed our confusion, and he said, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about. That doesn’t mean anything to me. I do not understand what you’re saying to me.” This continued until someone kindly guided him to the elevator and away from the lounge. It was fucking hilarious.

Advice for an incoming freshman: Really think about what you want from your education. Brown gives its students the opportunity to construct their own academic journeys. With this opportunity comes a tremendous responsibility to yourself and to your society. The university trusts you to prepare yourself for life. That is a big deal. What do you want to know, what do you want to have done, and what kinds of skills do you want to have developed by the time you leave the cradle that is college?

Favorite Brand of Detergent? Tide. It’s great.

Know someone who belongs in this column? Think YOU deserve a student highlight? Send me an email at monica_chin@brown.edu and we’ll make it happen!

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