"The people here, they're understanding, they're warm. That goes for the professors as well, in and out of the classroom."
Here's a new way to choose a college: Colton Neves picked Pomona because the campus passed the breath test.
Sure, academics and the social climate were key for Colton as he considered several top schools, but what finally tipped Colton toward Pomona was the weather: this was the only college where he didn't see his breath as he toured the campus. "The sun did get to me," he says.
Colton can't always enjoy the Southern California sunshine -- there's serious studying to be done here. He spends plenty of time in Professor Deborah Burke's lab, working as a research assistant. "That's really what I like about Pomona, that opportunity to be close to your professors and to end up as a sophomore researching cool stuff," says Colton.
Pomona's academics are challenging - there are some long nights of homework - but he finds the atmosphere is more cooperative than competitive. "It's not ‘if you do well, I can't do well,''' he says. "It's ‘we both can do well, we both can succeed.'"
He lunches with his advisor, Professor Kyoto Kurita, about once a month just to catch up on his academic plans: "She's very calm and understands I'm a harried, insane sophomore." And Professor Samuel Yamashita has asked him to lunch a couple times - they're both from Hawaii. "The people here, they're understanding, they're warm,'' he says. "That goes for the professors as well, in and out of the classroom."
Outside of class, his activities have ranged from the quiz bowl to the ballroom dance team. At Pomona, if you ask people what they've been doing, they have 10 different things," he says.
Colton gives credit to Pomona's system for integrating first-year students into residential life. They're placed in small groups with a sponsor, providing what he calls the "instafriend network." "That's a really cool way to get a base connection with the people who are going to be with you for the next four years," he says. "I can talk to people about what I want to talk about whether it be academically, intellectually -- or who's the best superhero."