Class of 2020 Alumni Reflect on This Year

The Class of 2020 ended their time at CC like no other before them. So where are they now? What are they doing? And how has their unique perspective shaped their path forward? We caught up with eight recent graduates to hear about their experiences.


Molly Hiniker

Major: Economics

Hometown: Edina, Minnesota

The high from my quarantine was getting to play a lot of golf. I played a lot in high school but didn’t get the chance to play much while at CC, and I played probably three rounds per week from mid-April until the end of the summer. The low from my quarantine was not being able to see my friends from CC. I played on the soccer team and lived in an eight-person apartment on East Campus, so going from being surrounded by my friends to having none of them around was hard.

My most memorable CC moment was beating Air Force in the last game of the 2019 regular season and my career. Although the games around the league didn’t go our way that night, we beat Air Force in the last five minutes of the game on the road, and we never lost to them during my time at CC.

I am in my first semester of the two-year MBA program at the University of Notre Dame. Classes are in-person and everything is going really well. In the year ahead, I’m really looking forward to things getting back to normal. I’m hoping to be able to take a trip with some of my CC friends, and I’m also hoping to be able to go to a couple big sports events in the next year like the U.S. Open and the College Football Playoff.


Olivia Calvi

Major: Religion, Classics

Minor: Human Biology & Kinesiology

Hometown: Woodland Hills, California

A highlight of quarantine was the day I finally finished college. My family surprised me with a backyard celebration. We had dinner, played board games, and my parents arranged for some of my closest friends to come “speak” in a virtual ceremony. While it was not the graduation I had expected, the celebration we had meant more because of all the love they put into it. I did, however, hit a low point back in July after being a final candidate for a few jobs and still not being chosen. I took a trip to Joshua Tree (pictured right) and it really helped me just clear my head and regain the energy I needed to keep going. Getting outside when I could has definitely kept me grounded in quarantine, and I am happy to say I am now gainfully employed.

One of my top CC memories is the night I was initiated into Delta Gamma in the Fall of my freshman year. I had never expected that I would be someone who would join a sorority, and at the time I had no clue how much that experience would end up meaning to me. It turned out to be hands-down the best decision I made in college. That night started four years in the community that would keep me centered when times were rough, and it introduced me to some incredible women who are still the most important people in my life.

I just finished my first month working for Bard Academy and Bard College at Simon’s Rock as an admission counselor. The school is a small liberal arts college and boarding high school in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Speaking of, if you know someone who wants to start college early after the 10th or 11th grade, definitely check us out. I’m working remotely from Los Angeles and will be moving to western Massachusetts in January 2021. I’m nervous for the big change, but am looking forward to next year when I get to see some true fall foliage and leave behind the 95-degree days of October in SoCal.


Kekai Wong Yuen (on the right)

Major: English: Literature

Minor: Art History, Asian Studies

Hometown: Hilo, Hawaii

My highlight of quarantine has been spending a lot of quality time with my friends and family. I’m usually home six to seven weeks out of the year, so seeing my niece and hanging out with my crazy, loud family is something I’ll always treasure. Quarantine also made me realize all the goodbyes and “lasts” that I missed out on as a senior. There was so much time left until the end of the year, and it took a toll on my mental health for the first couple of months. I now know that distance learning is not for me!

My most memorable moment from CC is a person. I met my best friend at Colorado College, and who would’ve thought that we would end up traveling to multiple countries together, eat way too much frozen yogurt, and waste a lot of money at Target.

Right now, I have two fellowships: I am a Congressional fellow with a program called Running Start, an organization that promotes women to run for office one day. I am working on my mock campaign and meeting with amazing women, mentors, financial advisers, and campaign advisers to learn about the campaign process. Also, I am an intern for Representative Sharice Davids (Kansas’ 3rd district). I’m learning a lot about the legislative process and fighting for Indigenous voices.


Cody Leong

Major: Molecular Biology

Hometown: Houston, Texas

A high from quarantine was being able to spend more time with both my immediate and extended family, as it had been quite a while since I had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time home in Houston. Unfortunately, right at the beginning of quarantine, I took a spill off a skateboard and broke my collarbone (the first time I had ever broken a bone!) and had to get surgery. Thankfully, the recovery went well!

My highlight of CC was taking part in a backcountry skiing training as a participant through the Outdoor Education program, and then leading the same training the following year. I am currently on the job search, having recently returned to Colorado. In the year ahead, I am definitely looking forward to the return of live music and sports. (If it’s safe to do so, of course!)


Ella Grossman

Major: Film and Media Studies

Minor: English

Hometown: Santa Monica, California

My low of quarantine was the immediate scramble into the unknown at the beginning. Taking my final class online was certainly not ideal, but it did bring my friends and me a lot closer to make the most out of our last two blocks safely. The highs of this quarantine were all the times my family and friends would find creative ways to be together during the past few months, from Zoom calls and dinners, to even a socially distanced grad party.

The most memorable moment of my CC experience was our film class’ trip to the Sundance Film Festival at the beginning of this year. My fellow seniors and I were able to spend a week at the festival basking in the inspiration, knowledge, and fun that an international festival had to offer us — something that would never be possible without the Block Plan.

For the past few months I have been working as a server in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, trying to make the most of my time in the outdoors. In the next year I am looking forward to continuing to pursue my passion for documentary films by freelancing for local companies and finding ways to connect with people as this time continues.


Anthony Rodriguez (on the left)

Major: Classics

Minor: History

Hometown: North Chicago, Illinois

My low during quarantine was losing my grandfather to the Coronavirus back on May 10. It was about a week and a half or so after I finished my thesis and officially graduated. My high was marrying my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together eight and a half years and married one another on Oct. 10.

My most memorable CC experience is when I finally had my solidified friend group. Shoutout to Edgar, Andrew, Noah, Esteban, Lee, Darryl, and Shane!

I’m still looking for a permanent job since my grandfather’s passing really put a stop on my life for a while. Right now, I’m working to assemble new, fast COVID-19 tests. I’m just an assembler, but I hope that the nonstop repetitive movements I do all day help others with earlier detection and treatment of the virus.


Noah Hirshorn (on the left)

Major: Environmental Science: Chemistry

Hometown: Layton, Utah

Even though ending my time at Colorado College during a pandemic was not ideal, quarantine provided an opportunity to get engaged to my girlfriend of five years, Zoë Blandon ’20. While the original plan to pop the question did not pan out, we were able to be surrounded by our immediate family for the proposal, which was truly special. One of the challenges that went along with having to leave Colorado College was not knowing that Block 6 would be the last time I would see a lot of my friends. While Zoom provided a way to check in with each other, it was not the same as spending late nights eating pizza or watching the sunrise on the last week of school. However, I am hopeful that we will all reunite for a belated graduation ceremony!

Looking back on my time at Colorado College, the special moments for me were not necessarily what others would perceive as noteworthy. Some of my favorite moments were singing songs in empty lecture halls with my first-year roommate, hurling myself down a sled hill, and just joining a classmate for coffee and a great conversation. The summation of small moments like these, in addition to all the great offerings CC provides, is what made my time in college special.

After Colorado College, I moved to Salt Lake City to begin my graduate degree in atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah. It has been great to work as part of the Hallar Aerosol Research Team doing relevant work within the realm of atmospheric chemistry. I am excited to continue to explore Utah in the coming year as I continue working to earn a Ph.D.


Henry Swain (on the right)

Major: Philosophy

Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts

My highlight from quarantine was hiking in Maine with my girlfriend and my dog when we were stuck because of COVID-19 security. My lowlight was getting super lost on that same trip and eventually having to hitchhike home.

One of my best memories from college was going to Indian Creek, Utah, with my friends for block break my junior year. One night we hiked up a ridge and watched the sunset over the canyons with a speaker and a few drinks. I will always remember that moment.

I am currently driving from Florida to Massachusetts (as I write this, I’m eating BBQ for a lunch break in Savannah, Georgia). The plan is to momentarily live at home while looking for an apartment and a job in downtown Boston. I’m excited to take the next step! This photo is of me and Taylor Bigony ’20 paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe.