Get to Know Our Grad Students: Summer Activities


Summertime is a great opportunity to take even a small break away from school, projects, and work. This week, our graduate students share some non-work highlights from their summer. Here’s what they said!


PhD student Daniela AvelarDaniela Avelar
5th Year Learning Sciences PhD Student


This summer, I spent a few weeks in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado with my brother and my dog Nutella. We spent a fun weekend four-wheeling with my aunt and uncle. We saw some wildlife and incredible views. It was nice to spend some time outdoors and get some fresh air.



PhD Student Alexus RamirezAlexus Ramirez
3rd Year Learning Sciences PhD Student


This summer, I soaked up the sun. I tried to spend as much time outside as I could. I spent a weekend relaxing at Brigantine Beach. I discovered a beautiful waterfall at Kilgore Falls. I had the opportunity to go peach picking at Milburn Orchards. To cope with the heat, I often picked up some pizza at my favorite local pizza place, Wood Fired Pizza Shop, and enjoyed some ice cream at UDairy, a local creamery.  



PhD student Brianna DevlinBrianna Devlin
5th Year Learning Sciences PhD Student


This summer, I took breaks from working on my dissertation at the desk temporarily set up in my kitchen to get outdoors. I did a lot of hiking, biking, and kayaking in the local area (Lum’s Pond State Park is my go-to place), and to cap off the summer, I took an overnight backpacking trip in the mountains at Shenandoah National Park.


PhD student Caroline GaudreauCaroline Gaudreau
4th Year Learning Sciences PhD Student


This summer was definitely not what anyone expected, but I really enjoyed getting more into hiking. We checked out the Loch Raven Reservoir and spent some time exploring Shenandoah National Park! My husband and I hiked in some new places and found a new activity we both love!



PhD Student Haobai Zhang

Haobai Zhang
3rd Year Learning Sciences PhD Student


I spent a special and unforgettable summer at home playing with Legos! Although we weren’t able to go to Disneyland as planned, we built a Lego Disney castle at home (still under construction)! I also enjoyed some virtual ballet and hip hop dance classes at home. Taking a walk every day while enjoying the sunset really helps relax me from staying at home all the time.



PhD student Amanda DelgadoAmanda Delgado

1st Year Learning Sciences PhD Student



I moved up to Delaware this summer, and I tried to explore some of the green spaces before my first semester started. I am a Miami native, so going on hikes/nature walks is a new concept for me! It was very relaxing to walk through White Clay Creek State Park, and I look forward to repeating the experience now that I know what to expect!


PhD student Batual AlkhateebBatual Alkhateeb

2nd Year Learning Sciences PhD Student


My summer truly started when I was finally able to travel back home to be with my family. My son is two and a half years old so I am constantly trying to find activities to keep us both entertained. He’s super active and talkative and apparently never tired enough for bedtime. To beat the summer heat we have been making “healthy” ice cream and exploring with different fruit flavors. He’s teaching me to play cars and I am teaching him to ride a bike!



PhD student Ray PattRaymond Patt 

1st Year Learning Sciences PhD Student


This summer was a summer of goodbyes! Because of lockdowns, I spent the first chunk of summer at home in St. Louis, MO with my family. While the pandemic was not optimal, the opportunity to go home for more than a few days was greatly appreciated. I then spent the remaining two months saying goodbye to friends in Columbus, OH (socially distant!). At the end of July, I finally packed my bags and moved to Philadelphia, PA! I’ve been loving it here and now that I’m settled in and have explored this area, and am excited to take some time exploring the nature and extensive bike trails of Delaware. These trails are what drew me to Delaware—here’s a map showing just how great Delaware’s bike infrastructure is!


PhD student Amber BeliakoffAmber Beliakoff

Learning Sciences PhD Student


Activities this summer were more limited than usual due to all of the pandemic restrictions, but I really enjoyed being able to see my family more! Some of the highlights include hiking in the California Redwoods and searching for the NEOWISE comet together. I also had some success with my newfound hobby–gardening!



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