Commencement '20: grads reflect

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Sanelma Heinonen / Ann Arbor, MI
Saybrook College / Mathematics

Did you have a favorite course?
One was American Architecture and Urbanism. It changed my view of cities, and especially given my interest in mobility and transportation, it was a cool class. I grew up without a [family] car, and I’m passionate about public transportation and biking.

Did you get to know New Haven?
I’m on the triathlon team, so I do a lot of running and biking in the city.

Is there a bike culture in the city?
Yeah, there are lots of people who bike and who care about it. There’s the Bradley Street Bicycle Co-op, where people can donate their used bikes, and volunteers fix them up and either sell them for cheap or donate them. And it’s more than that: it’s a gathering place for people who come there and hang out and fix bikes. It’s such a cool space.

Does anything else stand out for you about your time at Yale?
I studied and interned in Berlin. I’d never lived in a big city before. Ann Arbor and New Haven are both around 100,000 plus, which is a really nice size, but it was cool to experience a big city. And being constantly immersed in another language, your brain flips and has to think in a different way.

Do you have plans for after graduation?
For the next two years, I’m actually working for Yale, so I’ll be at New Haven. I’ll be a Swensen Fellow in Strategic Analysis. I think right now most of it is coronavirus-related, not surprisingly. But I am also hoping to work on sustainability.