Tappan Neighborhood Spotlight

Students on eachothers backs

Check out this month's neighborhood spotlight! Hear from Andrew Kassa about his experiences as an off-campus student living in the Tappan Neighborhood.

SAMANTHA: So, tell me a little about yourself 

ANDREW: My name is Andrew Kassa, I am from the Tappan Neighborhood. I am a sophomore majoring in International Studies: Global Environment and Health and Spanish.

SAMANTHA: What got you interested in those majors?

ANDREW: I always knew that I wanted a career in medicine, so I thought I would have to major in Biology or a traditional science. Fortunately, I was quickly told that I could major in whatever I wanted as long as I fulfilled the pre-med prerequisites. I have been on a couple of volunteer trips abroad, and I want to spend a considerable amount of time volunteering as a physician in the future. My international studies degree gives me a worldly view on health care and the problems faced by many underserved populations. I have been taking Spanish classes since first grade, and it was not something I was willing to stop.

SAMANTHA: What brought you to the University of Michigan?

ANDREW: My parents really did not want me to leave my house for undergrad. They said I could only go if I got in to a good school. I got in here!

SAMANTHA: What is an aspect you love about living off campus?

ANDREW: I like the freedom and independence it brings.

SAMANTHA: What are some concerns or improvements for the off-campus neighborhoods that could be implemented?

ANDREW: The safety of the neighborhoods at night. There are some places off-campus that have no street lights and are incredibly dark.

SAMANTHA: How do you stay involved on campus living off campus?

ANDREW: I am in some clubs: Partners in Health Engage, Chaldean American Student Association, Spanish Club, and I am a MPAC mentor. I also do research. For the past year I have been working in Lawlor Lab. Dr. Lawlor’s lab focuses on Ewing Sarcoma, which is a rare but highly malignant tumor that primarily affects adolescents and young adults.

SAMANTHA:  Are there any other things you would like to see in the future to bring a sense of community off-campus?

ANDREW: More events that can help bring people together who live in proximity. When you join clubs, you get to see people with similar interests as you. It would be nice to form relationships outside my interest circle.


For more information of a variety of clubs/organizations visit Maize Pages Website. Don’t forget to check out Beyond the Diag’s website to discover your off-campus neighborhood and more student resources!


Contributed by Samantha Grudzien, Neighborhood Ambassador-Yost