Tori Pino on Being a Part of Something Bigger


Maggie Aulman, Staff Writer

Tori Pino, a senior from Miami, Fla., is very grateful for how her four years at Colgate have shaped who she is today. Pino is a member of the varsity women’s crew team, a commentary writer for the Maroon-News, president of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish honor society, president of University Church, member of Phi Eta Sigma honor society and member of Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society.  

“I have always wanted to be a voice for the voiceless and advocate for other individuals. I always felt like my god-given gift [is] to be able to vocalize things,” Pino said.

As a political science and Spanish double concentrator, Pino intends to go to law school after graduation.

“I decided in eighth grade that I wanted to go to law school and that hasn’t really changed,” Pino said. “I want to be able to represent individuals that can’t represent themselves and be able to defend people to that capacity. Since I am a native speaker in Spanish, I wanted to be able to maximize that in both languages and potentially work internationally.”

Pino is currently waiting to hear back from schools but is also interviewing for jobs with think tanks and government advocacy groups, simultaneously, in case she decides to pursue a gap year.  

“I either want to go into litigation or public policy,” Pino said. “I think that legislative and policy changes are the first step in creating national and social changes. I think that without legislative change or without something concrete like that you can’t really have the change that everyone desires.”

In Spring 2019, Pino was a member of the Washington D.C. study group and interned in the U.S. senate while taking classes.

“Through my internship with the senate I learned how much I enjoy legislation and policy so I definitely want to go into that as well,” Pino said. 

Pino explained some of her favorite classes she has taken at Colgate and how she has benefited from the relationships she has built with her professors.

“Professor [Matthew] Luttig taught a mass media and polarization class which was a phenomenal class which opened up that conversation of polarization in America. [We] had a very open discussion about it and welcomed everyone’s perspective into it which was really nice. We read a lot of cool readings on how division has happened in this country. He coupled it with his political psychology class about the psyche of a voter and how people vote.  Going into that conversation last year around the time of the election was a really pivotal conversation to have,” Pino said.  

Additionally, Pino has been able to explore classes with Assistant Professor of Spanish Marta Perez-Carbonell.

“I’ve taken a lot of interesting classes with Professor Marta Perez-Carbonell. I think one of the topics that I’ve enjoyed and have had both last semester and this semester is talking about femininity and feminine voices in literature and how that’s been transformed in Spain pre-Franco dictatorship and post-Franco dictatorship,” Pino said. 

That being said, Pino explained that she has enjoyed the entirety of her academic program at Colgate.

“In both my [concentrations] I’ve really loved every single course that I’ve taken and I’ve had a lot of fun with my [concentrations]. I don’t know if everyone can say that about theirs. I’ve definitely enjoyed all my Colgate classes and I wouldn’t change them at all,” Pino said.

Pino was a varsity soccer player in high school, but decided to join the crew team at Colgate to be a part of a collaborative community.

“I liked being a part of something bigger than myself. I have always been a team dynamic person and I enjoy that environment. I like the aggression and camaraderie in competing and I’ve had a lot of fun with it. The girls are great,” Pino said.  

Pino is one of the community service liaisons for the crew team and organized the team’s involvement in the Hamilton Thanksgiving food drive and the Connor’s Erg challenge, a collegiate rowing competition to raise money for pediatric brain cancer.

“I help organize our community involvement to ensure that we use our platform to help other people in the Hamilton area. I think in any position that you have any opportunity to help other people and just go beyond yourself is something you should always try to maximize,” Pino said.  “At least in my perspective, and through my Colgate experience and understanding that being at college and having the opportunity to be out of state has been a really privileged opportunityI want to make sure that I maximize all of that all the way to the end,” Pino said.  

Pino has been able to take advantage of Colgate’s many opportunities and said she will miss a lot about Colgate next year.

“I’ve loved my Colgate experience and I wouldn’t change anything at all. I think that Colgate really has a lot of opportunities for you to grow and come into your own. I think I’ve had a lot of fun in my four years that I’ve been here,  I’m definitely going to miss it because I feel like there’s so much liberty. I’ve loved all the classes I’ve taken, I still have close, personal relationships with all of my professors, and I think that’s something really beautiful about Colgate that you can have these close personal relationships with professors that stem out of the classroom. Overall I think that Colgate’s a great place that provides people with a lot of opportunities,” Pino said.

Pino explained how she has overcome the challenges of this year to finish her time at Colgate strong.

“This year has been the hardest. Trying to figure out this hybrid schematic while being here has been the hardest but at the same time my friends and I have taken it as this is our last year and we are just going to make the most of it while doing everything in our power to make sure everyone’s safe and doing what we need to do so we can stay because we don’t want to go home. We want to be able to finish it out and have a good time,” Pino said.