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Spider First Mentor Program

Welcome to the Spider First Mentor Program. This program features upperclassmen first-generation student mentors working in pairs with small groups of incoming first-gen student mentees. The mentors are all academically successful and very excited to work with new first-gen students. They will meet with their groups weekly through the first month of the semester and biweekly after that. They will be available to talk about any and all challenges you may have to settling in academically or socially and will be well versed about any campus resources you might need.

The great news is that you can read about the mentors and identify the pairs you would most like to work with. Just click on the mentors below, see where they are from, what they are studying, and what they like to do in their spare time. With luck, you will find someone you would like to work with and you can let us know on your application. There is no guarantee of getting your first choice but I can promise they are all great.

Not sure if you need a mentor? What harm could it do? It will give you another person to reach out to with questions, who can help you think through which clubs to join, how to manage your time and anything else you need to know. 

Who is Eligible to Apply?

The fall 2020 program is open to all new first-year and transfer students who are officially designated as a first-generation student. If you are not sure if that applies to you contact Lisa Miles at lmiles@richmond.edu. Starting at Richmond in January? The application process will open again for you in December.

Apply

There is a short application form and the priority application deadline is August 3. Applications will be accepted after that on a space available basis. You can be in a mentor group whether you are studying on campus or remotely.

Questions?

Contact Lisa Miles in the Office of Common Ground at lmiles@richmond.edu with any questions you may have. 

Resources

The Mentors have identified campus resources for their mentees to access quickly for academic, emotional, or social support. Check this linktree to access a quick list of websites to guide you to campus support services.

Mentor Pairs

Learn more about our mentor pairs below.

Christopher Ortiz & John Mulligan

 Christopher Ortiz

Christopher Ortiz

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Round Lake Park, IL


Area of Study: Accounting, with possible minor in Philosophy

 


Clubs and Hobbies: I am the treasurer of Solidarity Organization for Latinx Students (SOLS), a Peer Advising and Mentor (PAM) mentor, a mentor in the Scholars Latino Initiative , and an Ambassador for the Robins School Endeavor course.

 

Personal Statement: I chose to be a mentor because I know how daunting it can be to be a first-year on campus, and therefore I wanted to help welcome our class of 2024!

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Emerson, NJ


Area of Study: Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance; possible minor in Leadership Studies


Clubs and Hobbies: I am currently in Kappa Sigma Fraternity, UR Players (Theater Club), Club Swimming, Bonner Scholars Program, and BARK Club. Next year I plan to rush a professional business fraternity.

 

Personal Statement: I chose to become a mentor so I could make deep connections with the incoming freshmen class, and also help them to have the best experience possible on campus both in and out of the classroom. Also a fun fact: I'm a triplet!

Michelle Chiang & Danny Sollecito

Michelle Chiang

Michelle Chiang

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Englewood Cliffs, NJ


Area of Study: Business Administration, possible minor in Computer Science

 

Clubs and Hobbies: I play flute and piano and love going to concerts, hiking, trying new foods, and drawing and painting. I'm in the Asian American Student Union, Spider Advertising, American Marketing Association, Women in Business, Sustainability Club, and Planned Parenthood 

 

Personal Statement: I chose to be a mentor because I wish I had someone to be there for me during my freshman year, not only for guidance but also as a friend with more experience around campus. Something I’m really passionate about is good music (Frank Ocean and Kid Cudi have my heart forever).

Danny Sollecito

Danny Sollecito

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: New Milford, NJ

 

Area of Study: Business Administration with concentration in finance and marketing

 

Clubs and Hobbies: My hobbies include photography, track and field, soccer, music, intramurals, and writing and I work on campus at the Parsons Music Library.

 

Personal Statement: I became a mentor because I wanted to help people adjust to college with less stress and be a reliable resource you can call on any time. I also have a twin brother at the University of Richmond, so yes, you are seeing double.

 

 

Marco Consuelo & Annabelle Chung

Marco Consuelo

Marco Consuelo

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Round Lake Beach, IL


Area of Study: Linguistics and Computer Science


Clubs and Hobbies: I play Club Basketball, am a mentor in Peer Advisors and Mentors, and a member of SOLS (Solidarity Organization for Latinx Students) 

 

Personal Statement: I'm from the suburbs of Chicago but I was born in Mexico! I also have two younger brothers and I'm a big basketball fanatic. I chose to be a mentor because of my experience being a mentee in the past and the relationships it helps build.

Annabelle Chung

Annabelle Chung

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2021

 

Hometown: Honolulu, HI


Area of Study: Healthcare Studies and Philosophy


Clubs and Hobbies: I'm a WCGA Senator (Westhampton College Student Government), Resident Assistant, in the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and a barista at the 815 coffee shop.

 

 

Personal Statement: Hi everyone, my name is Annabelle and my pronouns are she/her. I became a mentor to help guide my fellow first-gen peers at UR and I’m excited to get a chance to meet you all!

Milly Santana & Miranda Thompson

Milly Santana

Milly Santana

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Norfolk, VA


Area of Study: PPEL (politics concentration) and LALIS, minoring in Leadership Studies


Clubs and Hobbies: I'm in SOLS (the Solidarity Network for Latinx Students), I work at ETC, the campus convenience store, and am a PAM mentor. I like to watch movies, go out on late night walks, and hang out by the James River

 

 

Personal Statement: I am Hispanic/Latina and grew up in a Honduran household and am fluent in Spanish. I chose to be a mentor because I think that having someone to answer your questions honestly and with no judgment is super important when you are a freshman. I am passionate about immigration and hope to become an immigration lawyer.

Miranda Thompson

Miranda Thompson

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2021

 

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA


Area of Study: Psychology, minoring in Healthcare Studies and Religious Studies


Clubs and Hobbies: I work on campus as a Psychology Teaching Fellow, where I co-teach sections of the Psychology 100 Labs. Additionally, I am a CAPS (the counseling center) intern this year, as well as really enjoy working with SpiderFirsts. Outside of UR, I enjoy hobbies such as playing MTG and board games with my roommates!

 

Personal Statement: My goal as a mentor is to be able to use the knowledge that I have acquired in my time at UR to help other Spiders to have their best possible experience. I have two younger sisters, so I think it's in my nature to be a bit of a "mom friend," to those around me, and I'd love to put that skill to use in helping students find their way here.

Cia Pierre-Kernizan & Ali De Leon

Cia Pierre-Kernizan

Cia Pierre-Kernizan

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2021

 

Hometown: Edison, NJ


Area of Study: Psychology and Healthcare Studies, minoring in Biology


Clubs and Hobbies: I'm in APO (a service fraternity) an intern at CAPS, (the counseling center), and work in the Office of Emergency Management. If time allows I will rejoin United2Heal

 

 

Personal Statement: Hey guys! My name is Cia and I’m a rising senior majoring in psychology and healthcare studies with plans to become a nurse. Fun fact about me is that I used to work as an RA in high school and loved being a resource to my residents which is what made me be excited to become a mentor this year!

Ali De Leon

Ali De Leon

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Chicago, IL


Area of Study: Business Administration and Leadership Studies, minoring in Environmental Studies


Clubs and Hobbies: I am on the exec board for American Marketing Association and CHAARG (a female fitness organization), and I am a member of Alpha Kappa Psi (business fraternity), Best Buddies, Camp Kesem, Club Basketball, and Solidarity Organization for Latinx Students (SOLS).

 

Personal Statement: I'm an outgoing, sociable person who enjoys being around friends and trying new things. I look forward to meeting you all soon and please reach out if you have any questions or just want to talk!

Razan Khalil & Krystian Hajduczka

Razan Khalil

Razan Khalil

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Chicago, IL


Area of Study: Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, minor in Arabic


Clubs and Hobbies: I enjoy reading, activist work, rock climbing, mentoring, dancing, protesting, campaigning, Netflix, and sleeping

 

Personal Statement: Life is difficult and it the journey doesn’t have to be taken alone. Relying on others will not only lead to your greater success, but will also give you a better insight on life as well as who you truly are.

Krystian Hajduczka

Krystian Hajduczka

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Trenton, NJ


Area of Study: Journalism and Leadership Studies, possible minor in Econonimcs or Finance


Clubs and Hobbies: I love anything sports-related, as well as watching movies, playing video games, and hanging out with friends. At UR, I write for The Collegian student newspaper, was the manager of the football team, and volunteered at Youth Life

 

Personal Statement: I'm just a first gen trying to help out other first gens. "Started off poor with plans to own more..."

Dominique Pham & Jasmin Portillo

Dominique Pham

Dominique Pham

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Lorton, VA


Area of Study: Biology, possible major in Psychology; minor in Environmental Science

 

Clubs and Hobbies: I am involved in the Asian American Student Union, and a Bonner Scholar and an intern at the Science Museum of Virginia. I am also in a Sophomore Scholars in Residence course under the Living and Learning Program. Lastly, I plan to join the Westhampton Web as a mentor. As for hobbies, I love to explore campus on walks, and am really interested in plants!

 

Personal Statement: I love to get out, try new things, and meet new people! One thing that I love to talk about are my succulents, even though I don’t have a green- thumb!

Jasmin Portillo

Jasmin Portillo

 

Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

 

Hometown: Richmond, VA


Area of Study: Political Science and Economics


Clubs and Hobbies: I am in APO (community service fraternity), SOLS (Solidarity for Latinx Students), SEEDs (alternative spring break), PAM mentor, and a Spanish TA. I love going to the movies and concerts. I also enjoy going up to Charlottesville and finding new trails to hike.

 

Personal Statement: I decided to become a mentor because I remember the challenges I faced freshman year as a first-get student and I want to be there and help people who face similar challenges. I am fluent in Spanish and speak a little bit of French. I am here to help anyone who has any questions or if you just feel like you need someone to talk to.