In the Light: Allen Kan


Allen Kan

Julia Klein

A double concentrator in economics and philosophy, senior Allen Kan reflects on his four years at Colgate and prepares for what lies ahead. Born in Taiwan, Kan moved to Singapore at age five, and he has been in the United States since age 13. 

“I consider home to be Taiwan since most of the family resides there, and that is where I go back to on breaks. It’s strange because I have spent the least amount of time there,” Kan said.

A member of Colgate’s outdoor education group, captain of the men’s water polo team, women’s water polo coach and a volunteer for Utica’s Refugee Center, Kan has enjoyed getting involved around campus.

“These activities have greatly shaped and influenced my social life, my spare time and my overall experience at Colgate,” Kan said.

While he regrets not starting his position at the Refugee Center until senior year, the program has made a meaningful impact on him.

“I didn’t learn about it until too late into my senior year, and I think it’s an amazing program that helps to support local refugees. Even though most of it is just us playing with the children and sometimes helping out with their homework, it has been a humbling experience and one that has been wildly influential for me,” Kan said.

Kan is grateful for the relationships he’s developed with professors and appreciates being challenged in an academic setting. His favorite class has been Philosophy and Feminism with Associate Professor of Philosophy Maura Tumulty. 

“Professor Tumulty is the most influential professor I have had at Colgate. Not only is she utterly brilliant, her passion for social justice moves far beyond philosophical debates and

arguments,” Kan said.

Kan is sentimental about the thought of graduating in a few months. 

“I will miss the beauty and quiet of upstate New York, I will miss the unlimited resources Colgate offers, I will miss learning and going to classes, I will miss my friends, I will miss the opportunities I am provided, I will miss much about Colgate,” he said.

As for his job search, Kan hopes to pursue work in the United States after graduation. 

“If I don’t find [a job], I have 60 days to leave the country,” he said.

Kan advises first-years to try new things and take advantage of Colgate’s abundant resources.

“Don’t pigeonhole yourself. It can be easy to get caught up in all the partying and social side of things, but remember that Colgate has so much more to offer. Don’t get too comfortable and satisfied with being where you are,” Kan said.