You nominated seniors. You voted—not to mention on various devices and with multiple IP addresses—until the polls physically couldn’t withstand the force of the collective Brunonian community. The power was in your hands: the competition was fierce, voting came down to the wire, and those who came out alive are here to tell the tale. Let all who are curious come and read, as this is the story of the Class of 2014 that will live for eternity in the depths of the Interwebz only to be uncovered by future generations. It’s time to meet the Class of 2014 Senior Superlatives.
Most likely to be president of the United States: Afia Kwakwa
Afia is more than qualified to be president of the United States because she is a natural-born citizen of the United States, she has been a permanent resident in the United States for at least fourteen years, and naturally, she is over the age of 35. But most importantly, everything in Afia’s closet is Red, White, and Blue… so she’s ready. Afia has also been a campus leader through Residential Life, UCS, the African Sun, and Teach for America, but these are mentioned last because leadership is overrated, obviously.
Best house: Friendship Unity Caring Kindness House
There are really only two things in order here: an explanation and an invitation. First, what’s with the name? F.U.C.K House is glad you asked. The title was bestowed on 110-112 Governor years before we showed up— we consider the name equal parts legacy and opportunity. The F-word, after all, is the most versatile in the English language: it can be sexual, angry, cheeky, or totally ridiculous. Which one are we? That’s the invitation part, and f*cking everyone is welcome. All this publicity would be meaningless if it didn’t lead to some new friends. Actually, maybe it would still be meaningless.
Best friends: Brown Band
The Seniors of the Brown Band have a lot of feelings. From being able to read each other’s minds—we all know that the goalie of the opposing hockey team is a sieve (sieve sieve) before anyone says a word—to repeating horrendously lame jokes without fear of prolonged social backlash, this is a relationship that has all the best traits of the very best friendships. Like all good friendships, this one can certainly be very loud and noisy, perhaps at times even bothering a few of the neighbors (see: Band visits the CIT). And it has certainly faced down its share of obstacles—few friendships can survive waiting in traffic on I-95 through New Haven (it’s a dump) in tact, yet alone grow deeper from these experiences. But, and this is clear, the band is an extraordinary friendship. Perhaps most extraordinarily, it’s a friendship which, at the end of the day, has undoubtedly transformed you for the better, which has allowed you to impact others for the better, and which you cannot, nor would you want to, picture yourself without.
Most likely to be on a reality show: Walker Shockley
Walker Shockley came to Brown in fall 2010 as a minor from Southern California, with one simple goal: To be the fun, alcoholic, Ivy educated, token gay on MTV’s The Real World XXX(?): Detroit. Over the course of his Brown career, minor forays into the athletic and the political scenes reaffirmed that his true passion, what he was was best at, was being ratchet as f*ck. But he has a deep, sensitive side too. He says, “Every time I finish a bottle, and am sufficiently #WhiteGurlWasted, I get sentimental for the part my friends have played in helping me get where I am. From finishing bottles of Captain Morgan as a freshman to finishing bottles of Ron Diaz as a senior, it all would’ve been a waste of time and talent if I didn’t have my main betches right there with me.”
Most changed from Convocation: Chelsea Cross
When Chelsea came to Brown from Wisconsin, she was “hot mess,” according to her friends. But four years later, she is flourishing. She was a crew athlete with short, curly hair and a body that made her look like she was a “male dancer.” As a sophomore, she drove the struggle bus but she pulled through the sophomore slump year. She spent the summer with her head in the books and her former motto, “get dressed, get drunk, get chose,” was never uttered from her lips again. She spent her junior spring semester abroad with the International Honors Program studying public health and returned as a senior, refreshed, renewed, rejuvenated; a leader, and a role model. As a freshman, she enjoyed eating Popeye’s and sleeping all day. Now she prefers teaching Hebrew and Jewish culture at the JCC; fighting for educational equity; increasing sexual health awareness; reporting the news at WBRU, cooking fresh, healthy, organic meals; and working on her fitness. She is the most complete woman, she is Chelsea Cross, she is the “most changed”!
Most likely to lead the Naked Donut Run: Becca Wolinsky
Becca Wolinsky has never been naked before. Ever. She is not sure why she received this award, but she is very grateful for it and accepts the superlative with honor. She is a SWOB—a Strong Woman of Brown and would like to dedicate this award to her house, SWOB HQ.
Renaissance Phe: Kate Brennan
After realizing that this was not a superlative for a gender-inclusive comparison to Danny DeVito’s character in the 1994 comedy “Renaissance Man,” Kate spent the next hour multi-tasking between eating chocolate, “brainstorming” for a paper, and wondering what Danny DeVito’s next career move will be (Matilda 2, anyone?). The closest Kate has gotten to anything sciencey on this campus is her pre-med/Geo housemates, but she appreciates the field as any good Renaissance Phe would. Further, she daydreams about a world with all gender inclusivity and equality, has secret photos from her glory days of high school lacrosse, and has dabbled in one too many activities on this campus that she plans to spend her final semester sleeping it off. She would like to thank real Renaissance Queen Wendy Ginsberg for her photoshop skills, as Kate truly identifies with both the mother and child in this modern rendition of Renaissance C1 Baldung Maria.
Most likely to be on SNL: Noah Prestwich
Noah is a Literary Arts concentrator. He writes and performs with OOB, improvises with Starla and Sons, and is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Brown Noser. He won most likely to be a starving artist in his 8th grade superlatives, so this is better than that. Read The Brown Noser @ thenoser.com.
Best unit: Unit 11 (Wayland)
“Dots, dots, dots, dots, dots DOTS!” (sung to the tune of LMFAO’s classic hit, “Shots”) reverberated throughout campus during Unit Wars. This cheer represented Wayland Unit 11′s “snake eyes” theme in the fall of 2010 and exemplified the dormmates’ undying enthusiasm and dedication to their unit—this was acknowledged by the unit’s big win of “most spirited/best costumes.” Other great memories from freshman year include many a “Wayland Wednesday,” the extensive game of spoons-assassin, and visits to the 3rd-floor room of requirement. To this day, many Waylanders can still be found living together and loving each other both on and off campus. They are very excited to come back with a bang during Senior Week and win Unit Wars, Part 2!
Biggest pre-ADOCH Facebook-friender: Greg Jordan-Detamore
Contrary to the name of this superlative, Greg did not actually friend any Brown students on Facebook pre-ADOCH. Or post-ADOCH. But after joining the 2014 Facebook group, he did friend a student or two… or a hundred. He is perhaps ever more well-known, perhaps, for his active presence on the 2015 Facebook group, providing lots of advice and information. And friending more future Brown students.
Senior not to mess with: Jenny Li
Jenny Li was born and raised in Ridgewood, Queens and cares for nothing else. She worked at a Chinese takeout for six years of her teenage life so she knows what’s up. She used to have a little, now she has a lot, and lives in a beautiful house of SWOBs aka Strong Women of Brown (the opposite of SWUGs), but she’ll still be Jenny from the Block. When she was born, the only female child of the Li family in several generations, her grandma (rumored to be loud, even louder than Jenny Li) proudly ran around her village in Guangzhou announcing the birth of her granddaughter: Jenny Li. The village doesn’t know what a Jenny Li is, but needless to say, she is notorious.
Most likely not to be sober at all times: James McNamara
Unfortunately, Jimmy’s peers beat him at a young age when he chose the hard right vs. the easy wrong—he said no to drugs! Since then (2nd grade), Jimmy has led a life of sin remembering such horrible, sober childhood moments. In middle school Jimmy would steal from his parents liquor cabinet, mix with Gatorade, and even sell any of the “fade-a-rade” he couldn’t finish himself. Jimmy always had the Ivy League in the back of his mind (a perfect untapped market for “fade-a-rade”). So instead of actually taking the SAT and applying like a normal applicant, he asked Ruth Simmons out to dinner. The President, under Jimmy’s intense peer pressure, insisted that he attend Brown University. Or something like that.
Most likely to go to Spring Weekend until he is 50: Spencer Jaffe
Spencer Jaffe is by far the friendliest and most enthusiastic Brown student—he frequently dons Brown swag and is a staple of the Brown community. When asked about his title, Spencer told BlogDH, “I have had a great time at Brown and of course Spring Weekend is one of the highlights of the year.Brown University has been and will continue to be an important part of my life.”
Biggest secret genius: Danielle Waldman
You might see her sipping on vodka sodas at Whisco or the GCB, or out jogging down Blackstone Boulevard, but you definitely shouldn’t let Danielle’s bombshell exterior fool you. The senior class’ “biggest secret genius” is all about striking an effective balance between work and play. She logs many hours in the Absolute Quiet Room of the Rock. She’s not only spending the next year in Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Division, but she’s also a dedicated history student—when asked about her most prized academic work, she told BlogDH, “I just wrote my own Fabliau. Don’t know what it is? Look it up!”
Best mom: Meredith Bilski
Meredith isn’t a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. She isn’t necessarily the best homemaker—she really only knows how to make quinoa—but what she lacks in adapting to heteronormative domesticity she makes up for in her love of cuddling, killer advice, and large collections of baseball hats (her favorite is a needlepoint hat with a stitched duck) and oversized sweaters. She plans on naming her first SUV “The Swagon” and bringing a thermos of Pinot (Grig, not Noir) to her kids’ soccer games to share with all the other moms and dads.
Best dad: James Blum
A lot has been said about dads, but most of it probably doesn’t apply to James. He can’t grow a beard, wouldn’t dream of coaching a Little League team, burns most things on the grill, and has a lot to learn about what makes a good beer, other than its price. He’ll try to live up to his title as he continues to ask how everyone’s day went, listen to Billy Joel, drive his housemates around campus, and take out the trash every Sunday. He looks forward to growing old with the best mom, Meredith Bilski.
Most likely to become the next Mark Zuckerberg: Ben Vishny
Best known for taking on Dining Services and Spring Weekend, Ben loves hacking for the Brown community. Two years ago, Ben co-founded MunchCard while teaching English in rural China. This year, he is making sure that the Spring Weekend ticketing process won’t break the Internet. Unlike Zuckerberg, Ben is not an asshole.
Most likely to debate Bill O’Reilly on national TV: Cara Newlon
Cara Newlon was probably given this superlative for her “take-down” of Watters’ World NudityGate 2013—where she strongly advocated for students’ right to participate in nude body painting and naked downward-facing dog. She achieved her 15 seconds of fame for her second-place Supreme Court finish on Buzzfeed’s “The 2013 Running of the Interns.” Right now, she’s so desperate for a job after graduation that she’d take a job debating Bill O’Reilly or as a Fox News reporter/production assistant. Principles don’t matter.
Best social media presence: Cheno Pinter
Cheno came in like a wrecking ball, you can call her queen bee. She’s tired, you tired, Jesus wept.
Honorable mention for best social media presence: Clara Beyer
Clara is the founder of Feminist Taylor Swift and General Secretary emeritus of Cosmarxpolitan, and she plans to someday achieve total internet domination. She couldn’t be more honored that the endless hours she spends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, LinkedIn, Twitter (again), FourSquare, Reddit, WordPress, Bloglovin, Snapchat, and Instagram, have paid off. Seriously, hours.
Most likely to become a professor at Brown: Paul Tran
Paul Tran is a minority quota hire and The Tila Tequila Nguyen Family Associate Professor in the Departments of History and American Studies. His teaching and research includes twentieth century U.S. social and cultural history, Asian American social movements, Black freedom struggle, higher education and the Cold War. He is the author of On the Edge of Each Other’s Battles: A history of the Third World Center at Brown University, 1976-1996 (UNC U. Press, 2010), Rude! Security! I’ma Cut You!: Notes on the Emergence of Hoodrat Studies (Princeton U. Press, 2012), and the forthcoming “That Boy Is Mine”: Neoliberalism and the Rice Queen’s Longing for Yellow Fever (U. of California Press, 2014). Paul serves on all the university diversity committees and is a consultant for Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.
Most likely to sleep through Commencement: Dan Jeon
Dan Jeon really likes to sleep. He once took a 15-minute nap during a final. He drinks Red Bull to fall asleep. He once drove a car while asleep. It was in a dream. He appears to be uncertain as to whether he needs to honor the superlative. He will sleep on it.
Most likely to be at the GCB at any given moment: Chimmy Onwuanaegbule
Chimmy feels that GCB is the only entity that truly embodies the spirit and soul of Brown student life. Student activities and formal organizations give woefully myopic glimpses into peripheral characteristics of our student body, whose only unifying characteristic is a shared love of chemically lubricated flirtation. For this reason, Chimmy devotes a minimum of 18 hours per week furthering the agenda that school administrators acknowledge but refuse to admit: getting drunk. When he’s not at the GCB, Chimmy spends his time playing beer pong, slap cup, flip cup, century pong, flip cup flood cup, Baseball, Boat races, Tetris, Chandelier, Blackout, Kings, Chesties, Vietnam, Cheers to the Governor, and going sake bombing. He would like to thank the senior class for making his Brown experience the best kind of forgettable. Cheers!
Best couple that never dated: Cameron Donald and Marc Briz
Marc (right) and Cameron (left) have been best friends from the moment the virus struck all the way through the apocalyptic epoch. They enjoy to fill their days with brain consumption, mindless dancing, and time spent groaning about oppressive societal structures. Lastly, they hope to raise a few spirits in their last semester at Brown by encouraging students to cultivate a more critical self-reflective zombie consciousness.
Most likely to spend more time in the Nelly than the Rock/SciLi: Alexa Steuer
They say working out is good for the mind, so Alexa swears she’s not crazy, but she certainly knows the value of physical activity. Whether she’s lifting, swimming, or running, Alexa can be found at the Nelly morning, noon, or night (or maybe all three). No day of Alexa’s is complete without a “good morning” from Chuck at the front desk on the way into the gym and feeling the burn on the way out. With spring around the corner, Alexa has plans to try triathlon training, and will definitely continue to uphold her superlative and be a fixture at the Nelson Fitness Center.
Most likely to go to Mars: Erika Lopez Garcia
Since freshman year, Erika has done research in planetary geology, and she loves learning how similar and different the Earth is to other planetary bodies. It was an honor for her to win this superlative category because she represents the increasing number of women and people of color in STEM fields. She also hopes to be a source of inspiration for young kids like her 9-year-old brother and 7-year-old sister. Plus, why not have someone in Mars to promote plantains and Goya products in space?
Most likely to win the Nobel Prize in FUN!: Tevin Jackson
Best known for his ground-breaking essay that posed the question “Turn Down 4 What?”, Tevin has a well-documented history of knowing how to have a good time. With his infectious, million-dollar smile, it’s no wonder that a close friend had this to say about Tevin: “I cannot think of anyone else more well-suited for this honor. Whether he’s dressed up in his infamous velvet onesie, rockin’ his yellow beer drinking hat, yelling ‘LET’S GET WEIRD,’ or passed out in a bath tub from a tequila induced coma… Tevin always brings the noise.”
Most likely to be in Slytherin: David Adler
At the Fancy Slytherin House on Power Street, David Adler (left) reviews the 2014 Burn Book, meticulously updating student profiles. A messenger owl arrives at his window to alert him of his nomination. He chortles. He knew he would win before you even knew there was a competition.
At the ice cream social, the sorting hat told David, “My god, do you ever stop talking?” Since then: loud questions in lecture, a reign of terror in the computer cluster of the Rockefeller, and a ruthless take-no-prisoners approach to the dance floor. Today, his classmates honor him for upholding the values of his House: ambition, resourcefulness, cunning, determination, fraternity, and ambition.
Senior you wish you knew: John Spooney
Spooney is a two-sport athlete (Track & Field and Football) and is considered the “fastest man in the Ivy League.” In track and field, he’s a three-time Heptagonal Champion in the 100-meter dash and a two-time champ in the 200-meter. This season, he set an Ivy League record when he had two 90-plus-yard runs for touchdowns—he was the first one in the the league to do so during the same game. He’s logged a career total of 1541 rushing yards.