Our peer mentors are a dynamic group of students who, along with having exceptional academic records, have also experienced Summer Abroad, the Research Opportunities Program, worked as research assistants for professors, taken-up internships and given their time to clubs, sports teams and not-for-profits.
Take a few minutes to read more about the peer mentors you will be learning with throughout the year and why they choose to invest their time, resources and energy with the FLC program.
- Actuarial Science
- Computer Science
- Life Sciences
- Rotman Commerce
- Social Sciences
- Senior Peer Mentors
Himanshi Sehgal, Peer Mentor, Actuarial Science
Himanshi is a third-year student, who is majoring in Actuarial Science and Economics. She has great experience as a mentor working with international students on their conversational skills and tutoring local high school students in Toronto.
Why does Himanshi make time to be a peer mentor? "Being in the FLC helped me polish my teamwork and collaborative skills as well as enhance my communication and networking abilities. Most importantly, it taught me how important a community is and what a positive impact it can have on one's life. I wanted to be a peer mentor so that I could give back to the program that helped me throughout my first-year."
Subham Rai, Assistant Peer Mentor, Actuarial Science
Subham is a second-year student studying Actuarial Science and Economics. Subham is the recipient of the prestigious Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship and played chess for the Kenyan National Team.
Why does Subham make the time to be a peer mentor? "I learnt a great deal about all the resources and opportunities available to me on campus, things that could help me grow not only academically, but also as an individual. I got to understand the technicalities and procedures associated with the Actuarial Science industry and I also got advice on career development from professionals in the field…. Being a peer mentor would help me give back to the program that has done so much for me!"
Prianka Roy, Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Prianka is a third-year student specializing in Computer Science. She is working with Dr. Ishtiaque Ahmed on a project called "Unmochon." In addition, Prianka is actively involved on-campus including working as an Events and Volunteer Assistant at the Centre for International Experience, an Ambassador at Hatchery U of T, the New College IEP Summer Camp and an Orientation Leader with Computer Science.
Why does Prianka make the time to be a peer mentor? "As a first year I have moved to Toronto from the opposite side of the world (Dhaka, Bangladesh)! So I faced various challenges from learning to live on my own in a new city to learning to adapt to university. To add to that there was POSt. During this stressful situation I was lucky to have friends who supported me. First year can be stressful for everyone, so I believe FLC can give the students a sense of community and act as a support system to get through the hard times."
Shirley Wang, Assistant Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Shirley is third-year student specializing in Data Science and majoring in Computer Science. She is especially interested in data analysis and computational linguistics. As a Research Assistant with the Rotman School of Management, Shirley managed large data sets.
Why does Shirley make the time to be a peer mentor? "First-year consists of a lot of adjustments, and it can be hard to adjust. Being a peer mentor means being able to provide support and a community to students who aren't sure what they should be doing or what they're looking for. Making the proper transition from high school to university is very important to being able to succeed in university for the rest of your uni life, and so I make the time for it."
Kashaf Salaheen, Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Kashaf is specializing in Computer Science with a minor in Psychology. Previously, Kashaf served as an Executive for Tech Under 20, a High School Outreach Ambassador for Women in Science and Engineering, a writer for Her Campus and a Head Orientation Leader for Woodsworth College. Over the summer, Kashaf will be working as an intern at Edsembli and, in September, she will begin serving as the President of Scientista at U of T.
Why does Kashaf make the time to be a peer mentor? "I make the time to be a peer mentor because the jump from high school to university is really significant, and many first years have difficulty adjusting. I want to ease this transition and provide support for first years. I want to educate them on things such as POSt, choosing minors, and making sure they choose the correct prerequisites."
Shahmir Usman, Assistant Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Shahmir is a third-year student specializing in Computer Science and minoring in Statistics. Shahmir currently serves as the Director of Finance for the New College Residence Council. Last summer, Shahmir interned at a software company in Calgary, Alberta and is looking forward to gaining more work experience over the summer.
Why does Shahmir make the time to be a peer mentor? "I believe it can be very challenging for first-years to make the transition from high school to university. Without the proper support, they can often find themselves burdened with school work and unable to make time to socialize and make friends. I think offering first-years academic and moral support or even just being a friendly face they see every two weeks can go a long way in making them feel at home at U of T."
Zhuoye Lyu, Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Zhuoyue is a third-year student specializing in Computer Science with a focus on AI. Zhuoye has had the opportunity to teach internationally in Poland. In regards to research experience, Zhuoye is currently working with Professor Joseph Jay Williams on an education project using Machine Learning and Reinforcement Learning.
Why does Zhuoyue make the time to be a peer mentor? "Because when I was in my first year, I just came from China, and the language barrier causes lots of problems: I feel lonely, helpless and painful. I guess this is the situation where all the new international students will run into, so I decided to become a mentor in order to help them. I don't want to see them struggle like me, and I will provide all I have to help my students."
Tina Li, Assistant Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Tina is specializing in Computer Science and majoring in Statistics. Last year, Tina volunteered with the U of T Alternative Reading Week program where she went to local communities and worked on meaningful projects during reading week. In 2019-2020, Tina is excited to be a project leader and lead her own community project group.
Why does Tina make the time to be a peer mentor? "I always enjoy being involved in my communities and that’s why I dedicate my time to volunteer work. Being a peer mentor is a meaningful experience to me. Knowing that the POSt cutoff line may be stressful to many first-year students, I hope to foster a positive learning experience for them and help them achieve academic success along with a healthy social life."
Aamina Aamina, Peer Mentor, Economics
Aamina is a fourth-year student majoring in Economics and Statistics with a minor in writing and rhetoric. Previously, Aamina has been a part of university groups, like the Pakistan Development Foundation. To destress and relax, Aamina enjoys reading, writing, and eating chocolates.
Why does Aamina make the time to be a peer mentor? "I make the time to be a peer mentor because I want to be able to help as many students as I can. Going through a rough first year myself, if there is any way I can make someone else's university experience better, I make sure to put all of my effort into helping them. In addition to this, being a part of the FLC program in my first year, it helped me to grow as a person and build connections with other students. FLC has helped me find guidance when I struggled to."
Rachel Varughese, Assistant Peer Mentor, Economics
Rachel is a fourth-year student double majoring in Economics and Political Science and minoring in Biology. In her spare time, she volunteers for the Saturday Program which is a high school tutoring program here at U of T as well as for the Bata Shoe Museum. She hopes to one day get her language citation in Spanish.
Why does Rachel make the time to be a peer mentor? "I wanted to become involved in FLC because, as a first year I remember how difficult it was to accustom myself to this new learning environment. I want to help new prospective Economics students, build a community here at UofT where they feel comfortable and can have fun. I want to share all the tips and tricks that I have gained in my years here at UofT with incoming students. Things like time-management and balancing work and life in a healthy way, are skills that make university life a lot easier and enjoyable. I also want to help support first years in this exciting transition in their lives and help them make the most of this time!"
Staff Advisor: Jenny Fan, Commerce Assistant, Department of Economics
Maia Harris, Peer Mentor, Humanities
Maia Harris is a third-year student majoring in Peace, Justice & Conflict and Literature & Critical Theory. Along with being actively engaged with her program, Maia has dedicated her time to leadership and mentorship programs including literacy programs, high school mentorship and arts camps. She is also a freelance writer and copy editor.
Why does Maia make time to be a peer mentor? "First year is an important transition period and often a formative time for the overall undergraduate experience. Learning how to navigate the exciting world of U of T in meaningful ways is highly valuable. Making friends and finding yourself in a community, learning to learn for the difficult undergraduate space, and understanding the resources U of T has to offer are only some of the elements that FLC brings to students."
Joanna Faisman, Peer Mentor, Humanities
Joanna Faisman is a third-year student who is majoring in History and Religion with a minor in English Literature. When not frantically writing essays, she spends a lot of time as a Peer Mentor in the FLC Program and an Assistant Transition Mentor at Victoria College.
Why does Joanna make time to be a peer mentor? "First year is tough and the size of U of T can sometimes make it feel isolating and overwhelming. While it's possible to overcome this on your own, the FLC program creates a welcoming environment in which you can feel secure while taking on all the challenges that come your way during first year. Creating a space for yourself in a new place is difficult, but the FLC program does a lot of that work for you before you even enter the school."
Laura Gallo, Assistant Peer Mentor, Humanities
Laura is a third-year student double majoring in Peace, Conflict and Justice and Ethics, Society, and Law with a minor in Political Science. Within New College, she is heavily involved in orientation. When she is back home in the US, she enjoys volunteering for local senate and municipal campaigns.
Why does Laura make the time to be a peer mentor? "When I came to University of Toronto as an international student from the States, I was both nervous and intimidated to be at such a large school while also being away from my family and friends. I take the time to be a peer mentor to share my own experience as a first year, but to also help students improve their study and writing abilities, and how to deal with the stress and pressures of university."
Anna Hwang, Peer Mentor, Central
Anna Hwang is a third-year student specializing in Physics as well as majoring in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. Anna conducted research in a cancer lab at Princess Margaret and has also been a part of the Research Opportunity Program at U of T, where she researched bacterial genetics under the supervision of a professor from Molecular Genetics. This summer, she will be working in a physics lab to investigate laser-tissue interactions during laser surgery. She is also a tutor with Victoria College.
Why does Anna make the time to be a peer mentor? "I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to be in a FLC in my first year, and found it to be very helpful in adjusting to university. In my second year as assistant peer mentor, I continued to enjoy the sense of community provided by FLC and loved seeing my FLCees grow over the year to become more independent and comfortable with university life. As a peer mentor this coming year, I hope to pass on the same great experiences I had with FLC and to create a welcoming environment where students can come to be supported and build their skills."
Jonathan Wang, Assistant Peer Mentor, Central
Jonathan Wang is a third-year student majoring in Immunology and Economics. Jonathan earned an ROP placement at Toronto General Hospital and contributed to kidney transplant research. Following this initial placement, Jonathan continued to work with his supervisors over the last two years. He has also been involved with volunteering through Universal Minds and through other placements at the hospital.
Why does Jonathan make the time to be a peer mentor? "FLC helps you build a close-knit community in this very big university. You will see familiar faces in all your classes, labs, tutorials, and it can help you make long-lasting friendships. Whenever a problem arises or advice is needed, whether academic or non-academic, you can go ask your mentors and they are always understanding and are more than happy to help. FLC is a welcoming space to learn more about academic and non-academic pursuits."
Staff Advisor: Thuy Huynh, Teaching & Learning Project Coordinator
Anna Shalin, Peer Mentor, Innis College
Anna Shalin is a second-year Life Sciences student.
What did Anna learn from FLC as a first-year student? "As a first-year student, I learned about many of the campus "Easter Eggs" that are available to students. As it turns out, there are so many amazing opportunities for extra-curriculars and tons of academic resources available to students. I also learned about my own personal interests; FLC helped me narrow down what I wanted to pursue in my POSt, as we had many on-campus field trips to labs and other science-related buildings."
Shireen Chavoshi, Assistant Peer Mentor, Innis College
Shireen is third year student majoring in Global Health and Environment & Health.
Why does Shireen make the time to be a peer mentor? Shireen looks forward to the opportunity to introduce students to resources and to help them successfully transition to university life: "FLC presents a great opportunity to connect first-year students with knowledgeable upper years and faculty that can help support and ease the transition into such a large community, and … provide support by answering questions, providing information, and showing students that they are not alone in their concerns."
Faculty Advisor: Professor Andrew Dicks, Department of Chemistry
Staff Advisor: Denise Gray, Associate Registrar, Innis College
Eva Gajic, Peer Mentor, New College (Tuesdays)
Eva is a third-year student focusing on Physiology and Health & Disease. Currently, she is a volunteer in the Hospital Elder Life Program at Toronto Western Hospital where she provides mental, emotional, and social support to patients at risk of developing delirium. She is also a dedicated Research Assistant in the Stinchcombe Lab where she is helping to study the population genomics of herbicide resistance. In addition to being a FLC mentor, Eva is a very active member of various campus organizations.
Why does Eva make the time to be a peer mentor? "The increased workload in first year can cause a rift in work-life balance. A mentor can be helpful in sharing effective study strategies and offering relevant resources. It can be a challenge to make friends in a new school, but also a wonderful opportunity to meet great people. A mentor is crucial for encouraging first-year students in the FLC to get to know one another and to get involved in their communities. First year is also an exciting time for students to explore their interests, and mentors can help students discover new education or career paths."
Aimee Reyes, Assistant Peer Mentor, New College (Tuesdays)
Aimee is a second-year student specializing in Health and Disease as well as majoring in Immunology and minoring in Cinema Studies. Aimee is also currently a volunteer at Toronto Western Hospital and a volunteer research assistant with Dr. Chen's Multilingualism and Literacy Lab.
Why does Aimee make the time to be a peer mentor? "It is easy to underestimate the rigours of life as a university student and get caught up in believing that the strategies and habits that were successful in high school can still be applied. The transition to becoming truly independent requires maturity and strength that can be acquired through experience and listening to the advice of others. I want to make the transition easier for incoming students by sharing what I have learned during my first year, as well as aid in creating new systems and habits that are best suited to one's lifestyle. FLC is a great program for enriching development and forming new friendships with like-minded peers."
Staff Advisor: Justina Lee, Assistant Registrar, New College
Hiba Bhumani, Peer Mentor, New College (Thursdays)
Hiba is a third-year student in the Life Sciences, who was also a FLC student in her first-year.
Why does Hiba make the time to be a peer mentor? "I wanted to become a peer mentor because FLC helped me: I made new friends and learned so many things such as time management. Knowing how hard it was for me and how beneficial the FLC program was for me, I want to share my knowledge and help other first years transition to university.
Richard Peng, Assistant Peer Mentor, New College (Thursdays)
Richard is a second-year student focusing on Neuroscience and Immunology. Outside of university, he is an active student researcher, and you likely find him in the laboratory performing experiments and discussing avenues of research to pursue with his lab team. Richard is also an active volunteer especially for events where you can contribute to the community while also enjoying yourself.
Why does Richard make the time to be a peer mentor? "I believe that mentorship is an important aspect of university life, especially during first-year. As university life is such a large change from high school, it can feel overwhelming for first-years to manage their studies, while also familiarizing themselves with the vast expanse of the university. Therefore, I'm taking the time to be a peer mentor so I can help students have a smoother transition into university."
Staff Advisor: Madi Frost, Student Life Program Coordinator, New College
Mary Dominicis, Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Tuesdays)
Mary is a third-year student double majoring in Neuroscience and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology. She was part of the Research Opportunity Program (ROP) this past year at Toronto General Hospital studying risk factors of chronic post-surgical pain. This coming year she will be conducting research on diabetes at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she previously worked as a member of the Epic implementation team. When she is not studying or working, she enjoys playing soccer, going for runs, or catching up on the latest episodes of "This Is Us".
Why does Mary make the time to be a peer mentor? "After personally experiencing how valuable FLC is as a first-year student, I have developed a desire to help those students who were in the same shoes as me in my first year. As an Assistant Peer Mentor in the previous year, I had the opportunity to not only give back to my community, but also to further develop my own leadership capabilities, management skills, as well as my confidence. As a Peer Mentor this year, FLC will continue to allow me to step outside of my comfort area and explore new opportunities, and I wish to show students how valuable it is to do so starting in their first year."
Enoch McAtee, Assistant Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Tuesdays)
Enoch is a second-year student in the Life Sciences.
Why does Enoch make the time to be a peer mentor? "First-year can be a difficult time as students enter a new environment without their previous support networks. Building a community and making networks on campus is vital, as it can enrich and make your university experience more enjoyable. Moreover, through FLC I learned about research opportunities, POST, and work-study programs. Finally, being around like-minded people inspire you to study, work harder and accomplish your best. I look forward to meeting and learning the stories of the upcoming first year students."
Staff Advisor: Morteza Memari, Associate Registrar, St. Michael's College
Ke Fan Bei, Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Thursdays)
Ke Fan Bei is a fourth-year student specializing in Immunology with a minor in Psychology. Ke Fan has been a peer mentor for two years with Access Us and through their work with students, has developed an understanding of the questions and difficulties many first-year students experience.
Why does Ke Fan make the time to be a peer mentor? Ke Fan looks forward to the opportunity to provide support and resources to first-year students: "My time with Access Us has given me the tools to help find on-campus resources and learn different study and time management techniques. Also, as an upper year student, I have gone through first-year and so I have personally encountered some of the difficulties. I can share my stories of success and failures so that they know that they are not alone and that things do change."
Yves Ntale, Assistant Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College
Yves is a second-year student in the Life Sciences.
Why does Yves make the time to be a peer mentor? "I believe FLC is an invaluable tool for first-year students adjusting to U of T, and I would like to help give other students the same opportunity that I received in first year to make valuable experiences, find important resources on campus, and form lasting friendships. FLC is the perfect place for students who are motivated to make the most of their studies at U of T while meeting new people and I would love to help create the kind of inviting environment where that happens."
Staff Advisor: Morteza Memari, Associate Registrar, St. Michael's College
Alexandra Moffat, Peer Mentor, Trinity College
Alexandra Moffat is a fourth-year student specializing in Neuroscience and Nutritional Science. With aspirations to go to medical school, Alexandra volunteers at a UofT psychology lab, a Sick Kids Hospital lab and at the Cynamon Mother & Baby Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Why does Alexandra make the time to be a Peer Mentor? "First-year can be overwhelming: hard to meet new people and learn how to get help. Being in FLC allowed me to meet some of my best friends and introduced me to many on-campus resources. I wanted to share my experiences with first-year students so they could learn from my mistakes and the tips I found most helpful."
Ilar Haydarian, Assistant Peer Mentor, Trinity College
Ilar is a second-year student majoring in Psychology and Economics.
Why does Ilar make the time to be a peer mentor? "I believe that my first-year learning community allowed for me to ease into university and made my transition one filled with positive experiences. It gave me a sense of belonging, a new group of kind people to call my friends and important skills and knowledge. I am hoping that granted the position of APM, I would be able to provide a similar environment where I could help nurture and guide first-year students. I believe that giving students the opportunity to formulate friendships and giving them familiar faces in their classes greatly benefits them."
Staff Advisor: Jon Bray, Career & Academic Advisor, Trinity College
Sofia Recio, Peer Mentor, University College
Sofia is a third-year student in the Life Sciences program.
Why does Sofia make the time to be a peer mentor? "I wanted to be a peer mentor to encourage future FLCees to take advantage of this platform to enhance their first-year experience. FLC provides first-years with the perfect opportunity to build friendships and become familiar with the campus. In addition, I wanted to share the knowledge that I acquired with FLCees, to help guide them through certain challenges they might encounter."
Sabrina Lai, Assistant Peer Mentor, University College
Sabrina is a second-year student in the Life Sciences.
Why does Sabrina make the time to be a peer mentor? "University is a big step for many incoming first-year students. Being a first-year student myself not too long ago and a commuter, I have experienced the difficulty of adapting to the new environment and balancing social and academic life in addition to the long daily commutes. I wish to pass on the knowledge I gained through guiding and encouraging FLCees as they discover the various opportunities and resources provided by the University of Toronto. FLC should be part of every student's university experience as it not only builds new friendships, but also provides a warm and motivating atmosphere for those involved."
Staff Advisor: Naeem Ordonez, Assistant to the Dean, Student Life
Amar Aziz, Peer Mentor, Victoria College
Amar is a third-year student specializing in Molecular Genetics. Amar is a research student with the Lefebvre Lab at the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at Sick Kids Hospital. She is also a recent NSERC recipient and will be conducting research with the lab over the summer focusing on the development of Purkinje cells.
Why does Amar make the time to be a peer mentor? "I was a FLCee in my first year at UofT and I loved it! I got to make amazing connections with my peers and also my mentors. It was a valuable experience where I learned a lot and I want to pass that on to incoming students. I learned everything from how to manage stress and what to expect from certain courses or professors to some hidden study spaces and good food locations on campus. It really helped me learn about the U of T campus and navigate all the resources offered to students."
Ryan Panela, Assistant Peer Mentor, Victoria College
Ryan is a second-year student focusing on Biological Physics and Physiology.
Why does Ryan make the time to be a peer mentor? "Being a member of FLC as a first-year student allowed me to build connections with other students pursuing similar studies. Being a commuter student, it was difficult to grasp a sense of community while on campus, but FLC allowed me to build relationships with other students through the transition into university. FLC provided an opportunity for me understand the many differences between university and high school through the academic tips that were mentioned in our meetings. We learned about various way to get involved through the many clubs that were offered, how to apply for research positions in second year, and how to easily apply to our POSt. I am very grateful for the experiences which FLC has provided me in this stressful year. I believe that everything I have learned and gained will easily transfer into the remainder of my university career."
Staff Advisor: Valerie Ferrier, Assistant Registrar, Victoria College
Jasdeep Brar, Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College
Jasdeep is a third-year student majoring in Statistics and Women & Gender Studies. This upcoming summer she will be participating in the Women's College Research Institute Summer Student Program where she will be conducting research on BRCA genes. This year she will also be a Head Leader at Woodsworth Orientation.
Why does Jasdeep make the time to be a peer mentor? "As a Peer Mentor, I want to help first year students successfully navigate UofT by providing various resources as well as establishing a supportive community. FLC was an essential part of my transition into UofT because it provided me the platform to establish close friendships and learn about various opportunities, resources and programs that helped shape my first and second year. Therefore, I hope to create a learning community filled with new experiences, abundant knowledge and supportive peer mentors to help students face new challenges and succeed in their first year."
Caterina Stathakos, Assistant Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College
Caterina is a second-year student in the Life Sciences. Along with being a member of FLC in her first-year, Caterina was also an active volunteer with U of T’s Student Union.
Why does Caterina make the time to be a peer mentor? "I make the time to be an assistant peer mentor as it gives me joy to know that I am helping first-year students succeed in and enjoy their first year, just as I got the chance to when I was in their positions. FLC is a program that I would recommend to any first-year student; having the opportunity to not only get acquainted with the school and the program, but to also be placed in classes with the same people and share this community with them gives a first-year student the security that they have a second home within their school. As an assistant peer mentor, I feel that I can share my previous experience as a FLCee with my group of FLCees, and get the chance to help them in any way they need to succeed in their first year."
Staff Advisor: Anne Marie Blackett, Associate Registrar, Woodsworth College
Rachel Berger-Viflanzoff, Peer Mentor, MAT157
Rachel is majoring in Mathematics and History, and will be serving as the secretary for the Math Students’ Union in 2019-2020. She will be spending her summer taking part in a liberal arts program in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
Why does Rachel make the time to be a peer mentor? "I think that math is often misrepresented as being a very solitary or isolated field of study, where one person sits in an office all day and writes equations. In reality math is an extremely social field; most math is done in collaboration and I think one of the most valuable things any student, but especially one in math, can do is find a network of people with common interests to study with. I was helped immensely by the social connections that I formed as an FLC member in my first year, and I want to help a new cohort of students to forge similar bonds."
Arthur Qui, Peer Mentor, Mathematics 157
Meghan Gordon, Peer Mentor, MAT135/136
Meghan is a second-year student specializing in Mathematics Specialist degree. Outside of the FLC, I am a mathematics Peer Tutor with Victoria College at U of T. I am also a volunteer with Frontier College's Hammer Heads program, teaching grade 12 math to help apprentice construction workers get their GEDs. This summer, I am working at a literacy camp with an Indigenous community in remote northern Ontario.
Why does Meghan make the time to be a peer mentor? "I make the time to be a Peer Mentor because I know how important it is to find community within your program. I benefited a lot from the FLC in my first year, and want to contribute by sharing what I have learned about - such as study skills, fun social events, and work opportunities. I am excited to plan fun and engaging FLC sessions and take on a mentorship role for first-year students."
Ruigia Rebecca Wang, Peer Mentor, Innis College
Rebecca is a fourth-year student specializing in Finance, with minors in Economics and Statistics. She has held internships locally with Able Innovations and internationally Centro Ecuestre Tunari in Cochabamba, Columbia. Along with being involved with the Rotman Commerce Marketing Association, Rebecca was the Speaker Series Chair for the University of Toronto Business Association.
Alicia Thachil, Assistant Peer Mentor, Innis College
Alicia is a second-year student in Rotman Commerce. She is a member of the Rotman Commerce Consulting Association.
Why does Alicia make the time to be a peer mentor? "I learned about how important it is to seek out mentorship and make use of the upper year students around you. Most of them are very friendly and willing to help, so asking them for help is a great support system! I believe that peer mentoring is an essential part of any university career. I’m affiliated with Rotman Commerce and I know the program can get very intense at times. Having people I could reach out to during first year was extremely helpful for me, so I wanted to be involved in that process!"
Kate Azizova, Peer Mentor, New College
Kate is a fourth-year student majoring in Management with a concentration in Strategy. Kate is actively involved in student organizations including serving as a Senior Consulting Associate and Internship Supervisor for Enactus.
Why does Kate make the time to be a peer mentor? "I love mentoring younger people, whether it is academic or developmental. FLC provides an opportunity to give back and be a part of someone else's development, which is extremely rewarding. To me this opportunity is all about giving back to the Rotman community. I have met many meaningful mentors and I only hope to make a significant difference in someone else’s path."
Eunice Ryu, Assistant Peer Mentor, New College
Eunice is a second-year student specializing in Management and majoring in English. She hopes that the combination will help her to work in publishing one day.
Why does Eunice make the time to be a peer mentor? "As a FLCee, I received information about school resources that I might have otherwise missed. Through the FLC program, I learned about the career centre as well as the finance lab and I gained so many opportunities and experiences using those resources.I make the time to be a peer mentor because I believe that it's important to have a supportive community when transitioning into university."
Larry Liu, Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Mondays)
Larry is a third-year student specializing in Public Accounting and double minoring in statistics and economics. Outside of school, he works as a Learning Volunteer Facilitator at the Royal Ontario Museum as well as a Corporate Relations Committee member for Rotman Commerce Non-Profit Network.
Why does Larry make the time to be a peer mentor? "FLC had been an important part of myfirst year where I learned more about the new environment and made new friends. Especially, as someone who finished high school abroad, I understand how difficult the first few months of university can be for international students. Therefore, I want to create an inclusive and safe environment where my FLCees can bond with each other, ask questions and freely express their concerns. Having received so much help as a FLCee in my first year, I want to become a peer mentor to provide my first-year FLCees with any help they need when transitioning into their university studies, selecting specialists (or FAS major/minors) or simply finding the best study spots on campus."
Aishwarya Ram, Assistant Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Mondays)
Aishwarya is a second-year student at Rotman Commerce, specializing in Finance and Economics. Aishwarya is currently a member of the Hart House Finance Committee and volunteers as an instructor in SWAM Toronto, an organization that offers affordable swimming lessons to children with accessibility issues.
Why does Aishwarya make the time to be a peer mentor? "Being new to North America and starting my first-year undergraduate studies at UofT in a city far from home was an extremely challenging experience for me. The FLC that I was a part of helped me overcome many of my challenges by offering continued support in my first year. I was able to discover resources and clubs that suited my interests and create a new home away from home. I wish to be able to provide the same experience to future first-year students at UofT."
Mehwish Siddiqui, Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Wednesdays)
Mehwish is a third-year student in Rotman Commerce. Along with her involvement with the Rotman Commerce Students' Association, Mehwish is also active in law and business case competition participating in the DECA Provincial 2018 Competition and the Mock Trial Team at U of T.
Why does Mehwish make the time to be a peer mentor? "To me it is important to dedicate FLC sessions to discussing student struggles and how various resources can be found to address those issues. I believe students mainly need to be made aware of the resources that are available so that they can take the initiative to use them. I also strongly believe that presentations from advisors, career coaches, and experts from Rotman Commerce will be great assets in allowing students to have support going forward."
Christina Zhang, Assistant Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Wednesdays)
Christina is a second-year student specializing in Accounting. She is a member of the Rotman Commerce Sales Group. In her free time, she volunteers at the John M. Kelly library helping sort books for their annual book sale.
Why does Christina make the time to be a peer mentor? "FLC creates a community for first-year students. It is a safe space where students can focus on themselves and develop their skills. Students are exposed to a wide range of opportunities that will help them gain not only academic skills but more importantly, skills that will take them beyond the classroom."
Diana Selemeneva, Peer Mentor, Trinity College
Diana is a fourth-year student specializing in Public Accounting with a minor in Economics. Diana is actively engaged in the Rotman Commerce community. Along with being a member of the Rotman Commerce Students' Association, Diana is an Internship Supervisor with Enactus and the Director of Events with the Accounting Society. Outside of Rotman Commerce, you can find Diana coaching the Olympium Synchronized Swimming Club.
Why does Diana make the time to be a peer mentor? By providing students with the resources to succeed academically and developmentally, Diana believes she will help students to meet any setbacks they might encounter in first-year. It is also important that students feel a sense of connection. "I will encourage the FLC group to get involved in the community and make sure that I am keeping them updated with all of the events that I know off that are happening around campus, as it is a crucial part of the university experience."
Bronwyn Williams, Assistant Peer Mentor, Trinity College
Bronwyn is a second-year student focusing on Finance and Economics. This summer she will be working with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. In her free time, Bronwyn sings and dances at charity fundraisers such as the Canadian Mental Health Association and Kids Up Front.
Why does Bronwyn make the time to be a peer mentor? "I make the time to be a peer mentor because I realize the importance that an individual’s first year in university can have on them and I want to assist in making the experiences of others as meaningful as they can be. Furthermore, I want to create an inclusive environment space for students to explore their university career with guidance from others who have experienced what they’re going through. While University of Toronto is a very large school, I hope to help create a close-knit community that individuals can come back to. Additionally, taking the first steps to getting help when needed as a first-year student can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. As such, creating an environment where students can come to for assistance would be very rewarding."
Melissa Beeson, Peer Mentor, University College (Mondays)
Melissa is a third-year student specializing in Public Accounting with a minor in Economics. Along with being a FLC Peer Mentor, Melissa is a member of the Woodsworth College Social Committee.
Why does Melissa make the time to be a peer mentor? It is important to share with her peers the knowledge she gained in first-year about study habits, organizations and resources to reach out to when they're in need of help. For Melissa, she also wants to provide students with the opportunity to make new friends. "As someone who came to school not knowing anyone, I would be able to really show how being active in FLC and other on campus clubs/groups helps everyone take control and use this amazing opportunity to make friends and connections within their program/school."
Wesley Yip, Assistant Peer Mentor, University College (Mondays)
Wesley is a Rotman Commerce student specializing in accounting. He is also a member of the Rotman Commerce Fashion Group.
Why does Wesley make the time to be a peer mentor? "I make time to be a peer mentor because I really want to share my experiences and advice with First Years. I understand that the transition from secondary school to university is very tough, and it really helps to have someone provide guidance and support in this difficult time."
Stephanie Leung, Peer Mentor, University College (Wednesdays)
Stephanie is a third-year student specializing in Finance and Economics. Stephanie feels very strongly about helping newcomers to Canada, and has volunteered her time as a peer leader, translator as well as camp counsellor.
Why does Stephanie make the time to be a peer mentor? "FLC has introduced me to resources offered on the campus and guided me through the year by addressing my concerns with regards to specialist programs such as potential career paths and course contents available in each specialist. I have always been passionate about giving back to others who would be in the same situation as I was before. Being able to provide first-year students with support and guidance gives me a sense of satisfaction."
Miharu Ho, Assistant Peer Mentor, University College (Wednesdays)
Miharu is a Management Specialist in Strategy and Innovation. She also work on campus at the Sidney Smith Commons as an assistant and help individuals with academic wayfinding and finding campus support and resources.
Why does Miharu make the time to be a peer mentor? "As soon as I heard of FLC, I was sure to sign up. Throughout the year, I was able to learn more about my program, the campus, and its many resources, and develop a lot of friends in a small community. I was able to leave each session with something new that could further develop my university experience. FLC is an open invitation to all first years, and I would strongly encourage anyone to be involved for a community of fun and support, especially as a first year."
Jim Ho, Peer Mentor, Victoria College
Jim is a third-year student specializing in Finance and Economics with a minor in Psychology. During the academic year, Jim works as the Internal Staff Development Assistant with Human Resources, Hart House as well as an Ambassador representing the University of Toronto. From British Columbia, Jim has worked with various organizations on successful fundraising initiatives.
Why does Jim make the time to be a peer mentor? "Being a part of FLC has made a positive impact on my learning experiences at the University of Toronto. As many students come to the university with high levels of insecurities and fear of unfamiliarity, the mentorship program helps the students overcome those challenges to reach their full potential. After learning and helping the first-year students to overcome their challenges last year as an assistant peer mentor, I wanted to take a leadership role next year as a peer mentor to further contribute back to the community with the knowledge and skills I developed."
Karrie Chou, Assistant Peer Mentor, Victoria College
Karrie is a second-year student specializing in Finance and Economics and minoring in Statistics. Outside of school, Karrie is involved with the Rotman Commerce Consulting Association as a manager in the marketing portfolio, as well as with the University of Toronto's Model United Nations community, where she serves on the executive branch of the United Nations Society and staff the North American Model United Nations conference.
Why does Karrie make the time to be a peer mentor? "I believe that my experience as a FLCee was one of the main contributors to my smooth adjustment to university life. Not only did FLC allow me to meet a lot of my peers in a low-intensity setting that I couldn't find at other extracurricular events in Rotman student life, it also gave me support in the form of my peer mentors and made me feel comfortable talking to older students and getting advice from them. In my opinion, it was truly the provision of this support system that made my transition to university as seamless as it was."
Angela Bosenius, Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College
Angela is a third-year student specializing in Accounting. She has been sinvolved in the Rotman Commerce Accounting Society and is currently the Director of Conference. In her spare time, she enjoys playing music and swimming.
Why does Angela make the time to be a peer mentor? "I found that my experiences in FLC have been very valuable, both as an APM and as a FLCee. In my first year, I learned of different ways to handle new challenges that come with transitioning from high school to university, and have really enjoyed having the opportunity to help create a supportive community for incoming first-years as an APM. As a PM, I'm looking forward to helping more students successfully adjust to university and overcome any challenges they might encounter."
Kathy Liu, Assistant Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College (Mondays)
Why does Kathy make the time to be a peer mentor? "FLC provided lots of info on campus resources, academics, and extracurriculars. There are many events hosted by Rotman and U of T that give FLCees an edge in navigating the university. However the greatest development isn't tangible information, but the interpersonal skills, the people you meet, and insight from your peers that you gain."
Sarah Dai, Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College (Wednesdays)
Sarah is a third-year student specializing in Finance and Economics. Along with being a senior financial associate of the catapult portfolio in Enactus UofT, Sarah is an active member in the Rotman Commerce Finance Association and will be taking on the role of Director of Interns for the upcoming year.
Why does Sarah make time to be a peer mentor? "Being part of FLC positively impacted my first year in Rotman and at the University of Toronto. Through FLC, I gained valuable knowledge on how to smoothly integrate myself into first-year university and the rotman commerce program. Most importantly, I met so many amazing people who I now call close friends. I want to do the same for the incoming first-years. I want to provide the advice, resources, and tools they need to transition and succeed in university."
Kenneth Leung, Assistant Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College (Wednesdays)
Kenneth is a second-year student specializing in Public Accounting and majoring in Economics.
Why does Kenneth make the time to be a peer mentor? "After a year being part of the FLC program in my first year, I truly believe that first-year students will benefit a lot from the program and I would like give back to the program with my best ability. I hope that from my own experience and advice, I can help incoming students the same way this program helped me!"
Grace Cameron, Social Sciences, Peer Mentor (Political Sciences and Sociology)
Grace is a third -year student majoring in English and Women’s & Gender Studies. This past year she was also involved in the planning of the Youth Sexual Health Research Symposium.
Why does Grace make the time to be a peer mentor? "I make the time to be a peer mentor because I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people grow and learn. The opportunity to help welcome new students to the university and facilitate a more well-rounded experience is really appealing to me. I’m a firm believer in the importance of varying your university life so I’m really looking forward to helping students bring more balance to their first year."
Madelyn Sherrill, Assistant Peer Mentor, Social Sciences (Political Sciences and Sociology)
Madelyn is a second-year student focusing on Political Science and Sexual and Diversity Studies.
Ashmita Roy, Peer Mentor, Social Sciences (Anthropology, Sociology and Women and Gender Studies)
Ashmita is a fourth-year student majoring in Women and Gender Studies and Equity Studies. Previously, Ashmita was the Associate Vice-President Equity for the University of Toronto Students' Union where she dealt with the creation and execution of large-scale, equity-based campaigns on campus. Ashmita also tutors adults with disabilities to develop their literacy skills.
Anjali Roy, Assistant Peer Mentor, Social Sciences (Anthropology, Sociology and Women and Gender Studies)
Anjali is a second-year student focusing on Criminology and Ethics, Society and Law. Along with being a swim instructor, Anjali also had the opportunity to co-op at Member of Parliament Bob Saroyas' Office.
Staff Advisor: Dr. Sharon Kelly, Research and Graduate Academic Planning Coordinator
Rachel Brunswick, Senior Peer Mentor
Rachel Brunswick is a fourth-year student majoring in Health and Disease with a double minor in immunology and physiology. Along with being involved with FLC for the last four years, Rachel has been Head Leader for the Woodsworth College Orientation Week. She also volunteers with SciHigh, an organization that travels to elementary and high schools to facilitate interactive science activities with students.
Why does Rachel make the time to be a peer mentor? As a first-year student I gained many skills and valuable knowledge through being apart of the FLC program. FLC first and foremost helped me find a community within both my college and program at U of T. It introduced me to many familiar faces in my classes which soon became friends, that had many of the same goals for undergrad and after graduation as I did. Meeting these fellow FLCees became further beneficial in forming study groups and having a group of students to help prepare for midterms with. Both of my mentors in the FLC program when I was a first-year provided me with so much guidance through my courses and how to be successful at U of T."
Shahbano Mustafa, Senior Peer Mentor
Shahbano is a fourth-year student majoring in Physiology and Immunology. Shahbano has participated in the Research Opportunities Program, inputting data and conducting a literature review with the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development. She is an experienced peer mentor and has received her Mentor Leadership Certificate from Student Life.
Why does Shahbano make the time to be a peer mentor? "During one of the first few FLC sessions, I recall thinking to myself that I want to be where these mentors are standing right now. I've been involved in mentorship since middle school so it wasn't a huge epiphany or anything. As the year went on, I realized how amazing this program is for students, mentors and mentees alike. It's a chance to give back to the people that have helped you thrive in the face of crazy, scary first-year challenges, a chance to make a difference in another's life however small the difference is, a chance to create lasting friendships and memories. I'm forever glad I stumbled upon the FLC link."
Rakhi Tilak, Senior Peer Mentor
Rakhi Tilak is a fourth-year student who is a double major in Biochemistry and Physiology. She is a research student with a lab at Toronto General Hospital and St. Michael's Hospital. Since high school, Rakhi has also been a volunteer at a therapeutic rehabilitation program for children.
Why does Rakhi make the time to be a peer mentor? I heard about FLC through my sister, and she told me it was one of the best experiences she had in first year. With that encouragement I decided to become a FLC student in first year, and ever since I have remained in the program. I became a peer mentor because I think peer learning is really valuable. Whenever I'm in need of advice, I often go to my friends as I know they can relate to what I'm going through. Similarly, the FLC program is a great way for first-year students to be able to engage with their peers to navigate the transition from high school to university, so I definitely wanted to be a part of that!