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
- Social Sciences
- Senior Peer Mentors for FLC
John Choi, Peer Mentor, Actuarial Science
John is currently double majoring Actuarial Science and Statistics. John recently won second place in the CAS X U of T Case Competition, and this summer will work as an actuarial intern at Sun Life Financial. He is greatly interested in the field of data science, big data, and machine learning, which led John to do their first internship at a start up dealing with Artificial Intelligence.
Why does John make the time to be a peer mentor? "The main reason that I take time to be a peer mentor is because on my way to achieving what I have achieved to this day, I have met a few mentors. Without their help, whether that be direct advice or emotional encouragement, it would have been hard for me to get here by myself."
Elning Utami, Peer Mentor
Elning is a double major in Actuarial Science and Statistics. She has participated in the U of T X CAS Case Competition where Elning and her colleagues worked on a case that reflects closely on common actuarial projects.
Why does Elning make the time to be a mentor? "Throughout my first year as a mentee of FLC, I've received a lot of support from my mentors and peers. I think FLC played an important role in helping me with the transition into U of T as it gives me a sense of community, important skills that could help me get through school as well as advice from professionals in the actuarial science field. Most importantly, I had a lot of fun learning and meeting new people! As a peer mentor, I would like to share the experience I got from FLC and help the incoming students get through their first year smoothly by providing them with a fun and resourceful community."
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Samuel Broverman, Professor, Statistical Science
Staff Advisor: Ivan Nguyen, Mentorship Programs Coordinator, Department of Statistical Sciences
Sofija Kotarac, Peer Mentor (Tuesdays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.)
Sofija is a third-year student pursuing a Computer Science Specialist.
Why does Sofija make the time to be a mentor? "Starting university on such a big campus delivers challenges and gaps that first-years have to fill on their own. I want to provide a profound circle that gives students the stability and support they need to navigate through an unfamiliar and intimidating environment. Sharing my own experiences and lessons from first-year to provide useful resources and constructive feedback, I want to illuminate their potential and inspire them to fulfill it."
Mojan Majid, Assistant Peer Mentor (Tuesdays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.)
Mojan is a second-year student pursuing a Computer Science Specialist and a Data Science Specialist. Mojan is currently a volunteer research assistant at the Intelligent Adaptive Interventions Lab, where Mojan will be undertaking an ROP project in 2021-2022.
Why does Mojan make the time to be a mentor? "In my first year at UofT, the support and experiences of upper-year students helped me learn about the resources available to students and consider what I wish to achieve in my undergraduate studies. As a peer mentor, I hope to support students similarly and help them succeed in first year and beyond."
Mahak Khurmi, Peer Mentor (Wednesdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.)
Mahak is pursuing a double major Computer Science Specialist (with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision) and Mathematics. Mahak is also working as a student researcher with the Medical Computer Vision and Robotics Lab.
Why does Mahak make the time to be a mentor? "As an FLCee in my first year, I got to learn both academic and non-academic skills from participating in FLC. The FLC mentors helped me transition well to university by giving me valuable tips about how to balance my academics and extra-curriculars and made me aware of all the resources that were available to support both my academics and health."
Raazia Hashim, Assistant Peer Mentor (Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30 p.m.)
Raazia is a second-year student pursuing a Computer Science Specialist and a Minor in Near and Middle Eastern Studies.
Why does Raazia make the time to be a mentor? "The transition from high school to university brings challenges for everyone. The FLC gives an amazing opportunity for peers to support and learn from each other. In my first year, I gained a lot from speaking to upper year students so I want to do the same for others."
Staff Advisor: Emily Greenleaf, Undergraduate Program Manager, Department of Computer Science
Neha Sarraf, Peer Mentor
Neha is a third year student doing a double major in Economics and Environmental Studies. Along with mentorship, Neha maintains an active research agenda where she looks to bring together her interests in sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Why does Neha make the time to be a mentor? "As a FLCee, I loved meeting other students in my program and seeing friendly faces in lectures and tutorials. My mentors helped me familiarize myself with the resources the university has to offer, navigate program enrollment, learn about economics opportunities beyond the classroom, and develop strategies to succeed in economics. Being a part of a supportive community where I could discuss my experiences, ask questions about anything and everything, and just have fun, was one of the best parts of first year."
Devyani Chandra, Assistant Peer Mentor
Devyani is a second-year student looking to pursue a Double Major in Economics and Ethics, Society and Law.
Why does Devyani make the time to be a mentor? "FLC was a very enriching experience for me as a first-year. Not only did I learn to navigate my way through the university's many resources, but I also got to learn some skills and techniques that helped my transition into university life. I learnt how to manage my time well, how to choose amidst my priorities, and most importantly, how to take care of my health amidst the pressures and expectations of university life."
Faculty Advisor: Dr. John McNeill, Assistant Professor Teaching Stream, Department of Economics
Staff Advisor: Jenny Fan, Commerce Assistant, Department of Economics
Kate Hu, Peer Mentor
Kate is a third-year student double majoring in International Relations and Political Science with a minor in Diaspora and Transnational Studies. Kate has made sure to apply her learning from the classroom to her initiatives on and off campus, mainly in the fields of politics and advocacy. As the founder and president of U of T Policython, Kate and her colleagues work to encourage more familiarity with national policies in the student body. Kate has also worked with people experiencing homelessness with Horizons for Youth and the Hot Potato Initiative.
Why does Kate make the time to be a mentor? "I am the first in my family to attend university in Canada, and so I felt like I was in the dark about a lot of things when I first moved to Toronto. Though I'm happy with my university experience so far, there are a lot of things I wish I knew in my first- year. As someone that started U of T one step behind, I want to help incoming students going through similar feelings of uncertainty. By being a peer mentor, I believed I can best reassure and support first-year students in developing long- lasting academic and professional skills."
Emma Hopkins, Assistant Peer Mentor
Emma is a second year student majoring in History and minoring in English and Practical French.
Why does Emma make the time to be a mentor? "I believe FLC is an amazing experience for first-years to become involved in. The first year of university can be very isolating and stressful for many students, however FLC gives its mentees a chance to meet other students, engage in fun activities, and to take a break from school work for a little while. As a peer mentor, I hope to create a safe community for the mentees where they will feel welcomed and enjoy themselves. I hope to share my own knowledge from first-year, help students transition to university, and show them everything U of T has to offer."
Josephine Vitella, Peer Mentor
Roensa Salija, Assistant Peer Mentor
Roensa is studying English, Book & Media Studies, and Art History. Roensa is also hoping to participate in U of T’s new Arts and Sciences Internship Program through the Book & Media Studies stream.
Why does Roensa make the time to be a mentor? "Being in an FLC my first year, I know how much of a great opportunity this program is for new students making the transition from high school to university. It’s amazing for networking, it makes interacting with other like-minded students much easier, and it provides mentees with a lot of information about U of T and all of our resources! Now that I’ve had the opportunity to thrive in an FLC myself, I’m hoping to give back to the U of T community by supporting our new first years as they embark on their own university journeys. From navigating the libraries to visiting the best bookstores on campus, I can’t wait to share my tips and tricks with incoming students!"
Yoobhin Park, Peer Mentor
Yoobhin is a third-year student, double majoring in Neuroscience and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology with a minor in Psychology. In 2020-2021, Yoobhin was a part of the Research Opportunity Program where she helped to model the molecular mechanisms of depression in Huntington's disease. This summer, Yoobhin is taking part in the COUHRxTidBit Research Program where she will be working closely with researchers as well as develop infographics and review scientific literature. Yoobhin will be serving as Academic Director of the Medical Science Student Union in 2021-22.
Why does Yoobhin make the time to be a mentor? "FLC is such a valuable opportunity where you can meet all of a first-year student's concerns through this one program! FLCees can connect with numerous upper-year students and make long-lasting friendships with fellow FLC students! They will also receive rewarding mentorship on various school-related questions (e.g: applying to POSt, choosing upper-year courses, in-school opportunities). Furthermore, FLCees will gain endless life-changing experiences such as applying for research positions to composing resumes and cover letters!"
Nicholas Chan, Assistant Peer Mentor
Nicholas is a second-year student planning to specialize in Health & Disease. He has secured a full-time placement in the Feldman Labs at the Hospital for Sick Children, spending most of his time discovering novel biomarkers for Juvenile Dermatomyositis disease activity. When he has free time, Nicholas helps his local long-term care home working as the Executive Manager for Self Synergy, a United Against COVID Initiative.
Why does Nicholas make the time to be a mentor? "The main reason that I make the time to be a peer mentor is that mentorship has been a crucial part of my own life. Through my past experiences, I have learned valuable lessons about humility, leadership as well as note-taking, that I wish to share with all of you."
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jasty Singh, Assistant Professor Teaching Stream and Associate Chair Undergraduate Studies, Department of Immunology
Eliz Shimshek, Peer Mentor
Eliz is a third-year student specializing in Neuroscience, with a Psychology Major and Physiology Minor. Mentorship and education are very important to Eliz, as they have been dedicated to working with students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Eliz has also served as a Peer Mentor with the Medical Sciences Student Union, as an Orientation Leader and an executive member of the Stem Fellowship Association. This summer Eliz will be a research assistant at the Intergroup Relations Lab at U of T and in the fall, will be working on an Independent Research Project (499) at the Memory & Perception Lab.
Why does Eliz make the time to be a mentor? "FLC played an important role in helping me with the transition into U of T as it helped me build a sense of community with my peers. My closest friends here at U of T are actually also past participants of this amazing program! With FLC I had the opportunity to meet professionals from different fields, learn resume writing and interview strategies, as well as learn how to navigate all the resources that U of T has to offer! I hope to continue to explore new opportunities as an FLC mentor together with first-year students!"
Hiba Azher, Assistant Peer Mentor
Hiba is a second-year student specializing in Pharmacology and Biomedical Toxicology as well as pursuing a minor in French.
Why does Hiba make the time to be a peer mentor? "I make time to be a peer mentor because as a FLCee I found FLC to be very useful in transitioning from a high school setting to a fast-paced university environment. FLC provided me skills and experience that I wish to share with incoming students in order to facilitate their transition."
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andy Dicks, Professor Teaching Stream and Undergraduate Chair, Department of Chemistry
Staff Advisor: Denise Gray, Associate Registrar, Innis College
Vivian Wang, Peer Mentor
Vivian is a second-year student intending to double major in Human Biology and Psychology as well as minoring in Practical French. Vivian has worked with the Force of Nature Alliance, a non-profit environmental organization that works towards transitioning the communities of the British Columbia Lower Mainland to a zero-carbon-emissions society. In addition, Vivian dedicates her time to volunteering including at the Eagle Ridge Hospital and Manor in Port Moody, British Columbia, where she worked with other volunteers to enhance the care for patients and residents.
Why does Vivian make the time to be a mentor? "I make the time to be a peer mentor because I aspire to provide meaningful support to first-year students and help them transition from high school to university life so that they don’t have to go through this extremely stressful and challenging period in their lives alone. When I was struggling through my first year, the staff and other FLCees in the FLC program were there as I experienced the ups of downs of navigating post-secondary life: I always knew I had a supportive community to count on for both emotional and academic support. I want incoming first-year students to feel that same support and sense of community that was involved in reducing the stress and anxiety of first year, and I hope to provide a shoulder to lean on and resources needed to help them get through difficult times. Also, I aim to help enhance the experience of first year so that it involves exploring interests and developing a variety of skills."
Shi-Hua Lai, Assistant Peer Mentor
Shi-Hua is a second-year student planning to specialize in Health and Disease with a minor in Computer Science.
Why does Shi-Hua make the time to be a mentor? "Being in a FLC in my first year made my transition into university life much smoother. The friendly and supportive community made me feel connected and that I'm not the only one struggling through the various challenges. I also gained tools and learned skills that will be helpful for me in different aspects of university life, and I hope that these are the things that I can bring for the incoming first years."
Faculty Advisor, Tuesday FLC: Dr. Melanie Neumann, Associate Professor Teaching Stream, Cell & Systems Biology
Staff Advisor: Stacey Upton, Assistant Registrar, New College
Shankavy Paramanathan, Peer Mentor
Shankavy is a third-year student double majoring in Psychology and Health and Disease with a minor in Environment and Behaviour. Shankavy is an active volunteer, dedicating her time to Heart over Heart Network, a non-profit organization that hosts intergenerational meetings for older adults and seniors, creating a friendly, and inclusive environment. She also volunteers her time with Future Possibilities for Kids, a non-profit organization that helps children discover their potential in their community and the betterment of their environment.
Why does Shankavy make the time to be a mentor? "The first year in university can be very overwhelming and difficult to manage alone. FLC had been a part of my first year and made it quite fun and enjoyable despite the coursework and assessments. I want to be a part of the fun as well as the development of the incoming students and guide them the same way FLC guided me. I value mental health and wellbeing and within the university, the first year develops the fundamentals for not only academics but social and professional relationships. I want to help FLCee both transition and prepare themselves for university life. Last year as an assistant peer mentor, it was really heartwarming to see the FLCees grow academically, emotionally, and socially and is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a mentor. I want to be a part of your experience here and make the best out of your first year."
Sarah Qu, Assistant Peer Mentor
Sarah is a second year student interested in programs such as Physiology, Psychology and Immunology.
Why does Sarah make the time to be a mentor? "I was a FLCee in my first year of university. During a time when I felt very confused and nervous to start a new chapter of my life, being part of the FLC really gave me the foundation I needed to start exploring myself and the university. It made me feel connected to first years who were also struggling; especially since classes were being held online it really helped me with my sense of belonging. I learned many skills that will be useful for my degree such as study habits, mental health awareness and how to access academic opportunities."
Faculty Advisor (fall): Dr. Bill Ju, Associate Dean Student Affairs & Associate Professor Teaching Stream, Human Biology
Staff Advisor: Jared Boland, Student Life Program Coordinator, New College
Karina Chu, Peer Mentor, Tuesday FLC
Karina is a fourth-year student specializing in pathobiology and minoring in immunology. Karina volunteers at Mount Sinai Hospital, Frontier College and with SAGE.
Why does Karina make the time to be a mentor? "When I was in FLC, I learned about many resources and opportunities that helped me through my first year. It had helped me not only academically but in other aspects of university life such as volunteering opportunities and etc. I also met many of my close friends in FLC who have helped me grow as an individual because FLC gave us the opportunity to spend a lot of time together and to get to know each other."
Doyin Adeyemi, Assistant Peer Mentor, Tuesday FLC
Doyin is a second-year student planning to study Human Biology and Drama.
Why does Doyin make the time to be a mentor? "As a former FLCee, I learned a lot of valuable knowledge that I can take on to use throughout the rest of my academic and professional life. One of the most important lessons I learned was the importance of a community that uplifts and supports you. Academically, I learned how to better manage my time and how to study effectively. Overall, I gained a lot of resources and tools that helped me navigate through my first year successfully!"
Faculty Advisor, Tuesday FLC: Dr. Scott Browning, Associate Professor Teaching Stream, Department of Chemistry
Staff Advisor: Morteza Memari, Associate Registrar, St. Michael's College
Da Na Lee, Peer Mentor, Thursday FLC
Da Na is a third-year student double majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. Da Na is very interested in volunteering with children's organizations and last semester, they were able to volunteer with two organizations through Community Action Groups at the Centre for Community Partnerships at U of T. In the first, Da Na volunteered with the non-profit organization ‘Story Planet’ providing one-on-one support for children in creative writing workshops. And in the second, Da Na acted a group facilitator for Virtual Storytime with The Children’s Book Bank.
Why does Da Na make the time to be a mentor? "I make the time to be a peer mentor as I want to give back the same opportunities that I was given in my FLC experience as a first-year student. By participating in the FLC program as a mentee, I was able to build meaningful connections with fellow life science students as well as upper-year mentors whom provided support and assistance in overcoming any challenges that I faced during my transition to life at university. Also, participating in FLC was a stepping stone to successful undergraduate experience in that I was able to learn about various student support systems, finding research opportunities, and choosing POSt. As a peer mentor, I truly look forward to sharing my own experience and creating these FLC sessions a valuable experience for incoming first-year students!"
Alyssa Marrelli, Assistant Peer Mentor, Thursday FLC
Alyssa is majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Physiology and Italian. Alyssa is passionate about student life and mentorship. She has enjoyed roles as an Orientation Marshal and leader for Orientation week, a Mentor in the Mentorship Program, various roles on SMCSU committees, and the Events Coordinator for IUSCA. Alyssa also participated in the HBSU mentorship program as a mentor, and was a leader for a Recognized Study Group.
Why does Alyssa make the time to be a mentor? "My undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto presented many challenges and uncertainties as I adapted to a new and demanding academic environment. As a mentor, I use my past struggles and experiences to provide motivation and inspiration to my mentees, and encourage them to be resilient and persevere through challenging times. Being a mentor allows me to build relationships with first year students, and offer support regarding academics and student life, while providing helpful resources related to health and wellness."
Faculty Advisor, Thursday FLC: Dr. Shelby Riskin, Assistant Professor Teaching Stream, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Staff Advisor: Morteza Memari, Associate Registrar, St. Michael's College
Nicholas Damiano, Peer Mentor
Nicholas is a third year student double majoring in biochemistry and physiology. When he is not busy studying, Nicholas is tutoring high school students and volunteering at a peer support line.
Why does Nicholas make the time to be a mentor? "After being a part of FLC as a mentee I was able to understand how important FLC and mentors could be for someone. Therefore, I wanted to become a mentor myself so I would be able to help incoming students who might be struggling with their first year and getting adjusted to university like I was. FLC offers this unique environment and smaller community that provides something valuable for students and I wanted to be a part of that as a mentor. I hope that I can enhance the experience of the incoming FLCees and show them just how incredible our community can be!"
Zoe Paraskevopoulos, Assistant Peer Mentor
Zoe is double majoring in Neuroscience and Mathematics as well as minoring in Physiology. In her first year, Zoe led three different Recognized Study Groups and volunteered as a tutor for BridgeTO, a non-profit organization that helps students in under-served communities succeed in high school and beyond. Zoe also volunteers at Cambridge Memorial Hospital, her local COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Why does Zoe make the time to be a mentor? "My peer mentors were absolutely essential for helping me get through my first year of university. I felt like everyone knew so much about professors, courses, research opportunities, program selection, and more and I knew nothing about any of that. My peer mentors helped me feel confident that I had enough study skills and information to be successful in my courses and other parts of university (like applying for programs). Additionally, my entire first year of university was totally online which made the social aspect of university much more difficult. FLC gave me the opportunity to meet and connect with other first years in Trinity Life Sciences which helped me a lot during such an unprecedented time. Overall, FLC was an incredible experience and I really wanted to be a mentor for other students who are in similar situations that I was in."
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kristine Quinlan, Assistant Professor Teaching Stream, Department of Chemistry
Staff Advisor: Jon Bray, Career & Academic Advisor, Trinity College
Margarita Savguira, Peer Mentor
Margarita Savguira is a third-year student pursuing a specialist in pharmacology. Margarita maintains an active research agenda. She has had research experiences in a neuropsychopharmacology lab, where she studied treatments to help with epilepsy, and, in a biomedical engineering lab, where she worked on a fluorescent formulation of a gel designed to promote wound closure. When she is not in the research lab, Margarita is involved with the Ontario Provincial Youth Cabinet collaborating on a health policy paper.
Why does Margarita make the time to be a mentor? "I make time to be a peer mentor because transitioning to university from high school is difficult without the addition of online classes and a global pandemic. I believe good mentoring and FLC sessions can really help first-year students with the transition. Being a peer mentor also allows me to get to know first-year students, which is always such an exciting prospect since their experiences tend to be quite different from those I've had in my first year and hearing about everyone's experiences is what makes mentoring so rewarding. Also, it's really fun facilitating these FLC mentoring sessions, and I love doing work in which I feel I am both having fun and hopefully helping people."
Aleeza Dar, Assistant Peer Mentor
Aleeza is intending to double major in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Neuroscience. Aleeza is currently involved as a representative of the Human Biology Student Union.
Why does Aleeza make the time to be a mentor? "FLC shaped my first year experience, especially during a virtual year. I met some of my first friends there and was able to form a community, despite attending university from my room. I was exposed to many resources at the university and received many tips on navigating university life, from managing coursework to choosing a program. Despite being nervous about this new environment, my FLC mentors made feel supported throughout my entire first year."
Faculty Advisor (fall): Dr. Bill Ju, Associate Dean Student Affair& Associate Professor Teaching Stream, Human Biology
Faculty Advisor (winter): Dr. Colleen Dockstader, Assistant Professor Teaching Stream, Human Biology
Staff Advisor: Aaron Tsang, Assistant to the Dean of Students, Student Life
Ryan Panela, Peer Mentor
Ryan is a fourth-year student specializing in Biological Physics and minoring in Mathematics and Psychology.
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."
Alishba Afaq, Assistant Peer Mentor
Alishba is a third-year student double majoring in Neuroscience and Immunology with a minor in Biology. Alishba is interested by intersections with her research and the environment. She is a member of the U of T Trash Team, where they use science, education and community outreach to promote waste literacy. This summer, Alishba will also be an intern with the Rochman Lab as part of the Centre for Global Change Science where she will explore the effects of plastic pollution on Arctic char and nearby Indigenous communities.
Why does Alishba make the time to be a mentor? "I make time to be a peer mentor because although transitioning to university was daunting, I found that my FLC facilitated a university environment that was easier to navigate. Through the program, I was able to develop relationships with not only other first years, but my peer mentors and professors. FLC also provided me with resources at U of T to thrive in different ways—whether it be through note-taking strategies, resume tips, and finding research… all the while making new friends! I hope I can help incoming students ease into a comfortable, interactive group environment to promote success here at U of T."
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicole Mideo, Associate Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Staff Advisor: Tom McKay, Manager Student Services Victoria College; Valerie Ferrier, Assistant Registrar, Victoria College
Claudia Makhanko-Tang, Peer Mentor
Claudia is a third- year student specializing in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and minoring in Spanish and Russian. Claudia is currently a trainee at the Multi-Organ Transplant Student Research Training Program at UHN, and also works as a skating coach.
Why does Claudia make the time to be a mentor? "As a first-year student in a new city, FLC was extremely valuable to me. I was able to meet students in my program, and it was comforting to see familiar faces in huge lecture halls. Having two welcoming and approachable mentors was very helpful too, to ask about things like course enrolment, programs, and general advice on how to navigate the school. I also learned about the countless services that UofT offers, and how to take advantage of them to maximize your university experience."
Shesha Taylor, Assistant Peer Mentor
Shesha is a second-year student intending to specialize in Fundamental Genetics and its applications and minor in English. This past year, Shesha has been involved with the Woodsworth College Student's Association and is looking forward to getting involved with research next year.
Why does Shesha make the time to be a mentor? "As an FLCee, I learnt a lot more about how to handle my life as a university student. I got to know more about the resources available to help me, such as my college writing centre, academic advisors, and how to use the UofT library website. I also had the opportunity to talk to Professor Nicole Medeo from the EEB department. That particular session made me realise that professors aren't really as scary and unapproachable as I thought they would be. They also went through the same undergraduate experience as I am currently going through. FLC really helped me settle into the university environment."
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jessica D'eon, Associate Professor Teaching Stream, Department of Chemistry
Staff Advisor: Anne Marie Blackett, Associate Registrar, Woodsworth College
Lucy Ling, Peer Mentor (MAT137 FLC)
Yichen Ji, Assistant Peer Mentor (MAT137 FLC)
Kunal Chawla, Peer Mentor (MAT157 FLC)
Rishibh Prakash, Assistant Peer Mentor (MAT157 FLC)
Staff Advisor: Ashley Armogan, Undergraduate Administrator, Department of Mathematics
Keevyn Hirschfield, Peer Mentor
Keevyn Hirschfield is a third-year student starting the Psychology Research Specialist Program. Previously Keevyn completed a Research Opportunity Project with Professor Suzanne Wood, and will be continuing this research in 2021-22. He is looking forward to submitting a journal article based on their research!
Why does Keevyn make the time to be a mentor? "I make the time to be a peer mentor because it is an amazing way to connect with and help teach the next generation of psychology students! Starting university comes with many challenges, both social and academic in nature. FLCs are an incredible opportunity to address these challenges by fostering a tight-knit community and learning how to navigate this new chapter together."
Jaemin Hwang, Assistant Peer Mentor
Jaemin is a second-year student pursuing a Psychology Specialist and a minor in Education & Society. Throughout high school and first year of undergraduate, Jaemin has taught children and adolescents as a workshop leader and student teacher. In 2021-2022, Jaemin will be taking part in the ROP project with Professor Sommerville studying infants’ social and moral development.
Why does Jaemin make the time to be a mentor? "FLC is an excellent program at U of T, where first-year students can learn to navigate various challenges in university and maintain a necessary balance in life as a student. FLC can provide students with a small, tight-knit community and meaningful relationships with their peers of similar interests and passions. Further, the opportunity to connect with peer mentors and faculty members within the field of interest will remain valuable throughout the students’ life as an undergraduate. Through FLC, students will be able to integrate into their new community at U of T and ultimately achieve a successful student life."
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ashley Waggoner Denton, Associate Professor Teaching Stream, Department of Psychology
Staff Advisor: Tamara Ferguson, Undergraduate Administrator, Department of Psychology
Daniela Nava-Velazquez, Peer Mentor
Daniela Nava-Velazquez is a third-year student specializing in Political Science and minoring in Diaspora and Transnational Studies.
Why does Daniela make the time to be a peer mentor? "I plan to take the time to be a peer mentor because I care about the students in my school community, in particular those who are new to U of T. In truth, It can be an obstacle for first-year students to find a group in which they feel unapologetically themselves. I have felt this struggle during my time at this school, however, when I became a FLCee this feeling changed — I felt heard, understood, and in great company. Without my FLC mentors and community, I would have continued to struggle to find a group that I can identify with."
Maria Haro Betancourt, Assistant Peer Mentor
Maria is second-year student double majoring in Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies and Political Science. In the summer, Maria usually volunteers in various events with the New Canadian Centre in her hometown.
Why does Maria make the time to be a mentor? "I want to take the time to be a peer mentor because I want to be able to help first-year students to navigate all the wonderful opportunities that U of T has to offer. As a first-generation university student in Canada, I understand that it can be daunting to navigate such a big university without knowing who to ask for help. As a Peer Mentor, I wanted to be able to ensure that I can provide the first-year students with a sense of a smaller community on which they can rely on for any inquiries about academics and university life.
Frances Northeast, Peer Mentor
Frances is a third year student studying Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity, International Relations and Political Science. In her free time, she is a part of many equity clubs and associations around the university
Why does Frances make the time to be a peer mentor? "I am a peer mentor because transitioning from high school to university is not easy. I want to help guide my mentees through the ups and downs of first year and help create a welcoming community at U of T."
Chika Duru, Assistant Peer Mentor
Chika Duru is a second-year student majoring in Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies and Women and Gender Studies.
Why does Chika make the time to be a mentor? "I take the time to be a peer mentor because I think that first and foremost the role is fun and enjoyable, and because I want to be able to give back to the program that helped me feel more reassured and comfortable in my first year of university. The FLC program is designed to make first-years feel more at home in their new UofT community and I like that I am able to lend a guiding hand in the incoming student’s new journey."
Dania Ahmed, Senior Peer Mentor
Dania is a third-year student double majoring in Ethics, Society, and Law and Sociology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Dania has been involved with the New College Student Council, the Student Experience Mentorship Program, the Next Steps Conference, and Humanities for Humanity. Dania is am currently a Head Peer Leader for New College Orientation, Events Manager for the Undergraduate Sociology Student Union, Academic Liaison & ASSU Representative of the Women and Gender Studies Student Union, and Secretary for "Ensemble". Dania undertook a year long Research Opportunity Program on Faith Based Environmentalism, and has been published in Arbor (the Undergraduate ASSU Research Journal) for her research on White Collar Crime!
Why does Dania make the time to be a mentor? "I make the time to be a senior peer mentor because I believe it is a very rewarding experience. Getting the opportunity to match minds with bright mentors is an amazing opportunity, and one that provides me with the chance to enhance my own knowledge and skills as well. Being a senior peer mentor is so much more than advising students - it provides a platform on which I can interact and learn from some of the brightest intellectual minds as well."