Mentors are dedicated students who specifically want to support entering Hispanic/Latino students. The group is very diverse, representing people of many Latin American and Hispanic nationalities, many ethnicities and linguistic backgrounds.
2013-14 Peer Mentors
- Alejandro Nava Moncada
- Alexis Chaet
- Alisha Simone Ault
- Alvaro Garay
- Alyssa Henderson
- Brent Nagel
- Elisa Montealegre
- Federica Perez Vogeler
- Francesca Gutierrez
- Gabriela Araujo Macedo
- Hannah Montanez
- Karla Aguayo
- Luis Oscar Perez
- Nataly Luque
- Rebecca Hotchner Blaser
- Savine Hernandez
- Nicholas Farias
- Brianna Nicole Lambert
- Wendy Ramirez
- Alexia Sabogal
- Ana Cristina Derrick
- Andrea Mendoza Perez
- Charles Regan
- Claudia Rebecca Fonseca
- Eduardo Contreras
- Herminio Rivera Sink
- Inge Hernandez
- Isabel Argoti
- Jacqueline Restrepo
- Juliana Echeverri
- Kelly Glitzos
- Kevin Mosquera
- Kimberly Rivera
- Marvin Nogueda
- Michelle Chen
- Oved Hernandez
- Rebecca Grande
- Tania Rodriguez-Carpio
- Vanessa Villalobos
- Adriana Suarez
- Alaina Martinez
- Alejandro Ramirez Disla
- Arisa Koyama
- Ashley Munoz
- Ava (Junxin) Chen
- Belen Vargas
- Bijan Morshedi
- Fernando Mercado Violand
- Gabriela Ehrman
- Helena Vincentelli
- Javier Badillo
- Jennifer Rocha
- Karen Toledo
- Katherine Aracena
- Katherine Huang
- Kiki Vazquez Bragan
- Micaela Pilar Ramirez
- Stephen Ramon
- Yona Dorfzaun
Alejandro Nava Moncada
Cultural Background: I am very proudly 100% Boliviano! I was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, and moved to the United States at the age of 10. I have been living in Williamsburg, VA since then!
Major and Academic Interests: I am in Mechanical Engineering, but also love music, so I would like to do some research on how Mechanical Engineering and Music go together, maybe even design and make my own instrument sometime! I have always been one who loves to mess with things, and build them!
Career Aspirations: I would like to become the best Engineer I can be, and hopefully sometime work at a company like Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman!
UVA Involvement and activities: I am proudly part of the Latino dance team Fuego. I am part of the choral ensemble University Singers, and I am also a member of the male A-capella group the Hullabahoos. I am part of the Latino Student Alliance, and of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.
Tip to First-Year Self: The tip to my first-year self would be to get rid of the "senioritis" groove we get in high school, as it can prove to be very problematic really quickly in college.
Favorite TV Show: I don't watch TV too much anymore, so I am a bit of an oldie (my favorite TV show is Friends). However, from today's shows, my favorite are the Walking Dead, and Saturday Night Live.
Cultural Background: have grown up in Virginia, but raised in a Peruvian household.
Major and Academic Interests: I am interested in majoring in Global Development with a concentration in Public Health.
Career Aspirations: I plan to become a physician but would like to incorporate public health into my career as well.
UVA Involvement and activities: I run club cross country and volunteer through Madison House. I am also a language consultant through the VISAS program!
Tip to First-Year Self: I would advice myself to meet as many new faces as you can the first month of school and then go stalk them on Facebook so you don't mix up names when you pass them between classes! Also, I'd say don't be afraid to make awkward elevator conversation with people.
Favorite TV Show: Survivor
Cultural Background: My mom is from India and my dad from the United States but I grew up a large part of my childhood in Guatemala and mostly in Brazil.
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in Foreign Affairs and possibly Spanish as well.
Career Aspirations: I hope to work in some international career; an ideal job for me would be working in an international NGO.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am involved in Global Student Council, Salsa Club, and the UNICEF club at uva.
Tip to First-Year Self: Always remember to be who you are.
Favorite TV Show: Friends or White Collar
Cultural Background: I was born in Lima Peru, but I was raised in Northern Virginia.
Major and Academic Interests: I am double majoring in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering. I love the engineering school and all its applications.
Career Aspirations: After college, I would love work in an engineering firm building every type of aerial transportation vehicles such as aircrafts, airplanes, and rockets. Some time in my life, I would also love to become a pilot and fly all over the world.
UVA Involvement and activities: Over my years in UVA, I have been involved in several clubs. However, one that I enjoy the most is Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. In that club, I have built a family with the members. Being a PMP mentor has allowed me to gain leadership experience. I have also build a very close family with my peer mentors. In addition, I am involved in Madison House, which is a community service club. On the weekends, I enjoy going out and hanging out with my friends. I am also involved in multiple IM sports like soccer, football, and many more.
Tip to First-Year Self: Participate in more things and do not be afraid to try them out. Stay focused in school and classes, but also make time for yourself. Branch out and meet new friends!
Favorite TV Show: My current favorite TV shows are Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones!
Cultural Background: I'm from Virginia Beach, lived there my entire pre-college life.
Major and Academic Interests: I'm getting a BS in Physics, and am minoring in Drama. I love theatre and always have, and I'm fascinated by how the world works. I also like learning about the human mind (ie psychology). I wish I could have time to major in several things!
Career Aspirations: I've done research at Fermilab and Jefferson Lab, and will likely continue that track (particle physics). To do that, I'll probably be heading to grad school soon! I think being a drama teacher (or working with a kid's theatre program) on the side would be perfect.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am a member of First Year Players (which I reccomend everyone to look into), SPS and will soon be inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society). I was a performer in the Vagina Monologues, which I hope to do again. First year I participated in Blueprint (leadership program) and First Year Seminar. I currently work at the Comm School Help Desk. So if you want to talk, I'm often in Rouss/Robertson 219!
Tip to First-Year Self: Talk to more people- this INCLUDES PROFESSORS. Get involved and takes classes in whatever interests you, at least try it out. You'll likely meet your best friends and future housemates.
Favorite TV Show: I don't watch much TV, but when my housemate turns Smash on I come running. I also enjoy Big Bang Theory.
Amalia Nataly Luque
Cultural Background: I was born in Culiacan, Mexico. At the age of five, my family moved to San Diego, California. I am also part Chinese and Spanish!
Major and Academic Interests: I like mathematics, foreign affairs, and learning about other cultures. I started off in the College first semester and then transferred into the Engineering School to major in Civil Engineering. However, I am still in the process of choosing whether to stay in the Engineering school and major in Engineering Science (APMA and Systems minors) instead of Civil.
Career Aspirations: I hope to pursue a Master's in Commerce and we'll see where that takes me!
Whatever it is that I do, I hope to travel and be happy.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Alpha Omege Epsilon (Engineering Sorority), and the Latino Student Alliance. Last year I was on the Executive board for PMP!
Tip to First-Year Self: There's a balance to everything in life. Study but always make sure to have fun and enjoy yourself along the way. You never want to graduate UVA thinking, "I wish I would've done this..." Remember Twain's words, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do."
Favorite TV Show: New girl, Walking Dead, and that is all. I don't watch TV much.
Cultural Background: I was born in Washington, DC and grew up a few minutes away in Northern Virginia. My dad is from Argentina, and my mom is American of Italian and Slovenian descent.
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently undecided, by I am very interested in history, philosophy, English, and religion. I could see myself majoring in any of those subjects (possibly in two of them).
Career Aspirations: Having lived in the same city my whole life, I would love to have a career that allows me to travel a lot. I am looking into journalism, but remain open minded.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am involved in UNICEF, the Jefferson Society, Towards a Better Latin America, and Salsa Club.
Tip to First-Year Self: Balance the need to get involved with the recognition that you have limited time. There are so many wonderful opportunities at UVA, especially extracurriculars, but you have to realize that you can't do everything.
Favorite TV Show: My favorite TV show would have to be Entourage.
Cultural Background: 50% Dominican and 50% American
Grew up near Baltimore, Maryland
Major and Academic Interests: Interested in government and public policy, hoping to declare a Foreign Affairs major with a concentration in Latin America this year! I'm also planning on minoring in psychology
Career Aspirations: As of now, I am considering applying to Law School after college and my ultimate goal would be to be a prosecutor for the State Department or the FBI.
UVA Involvement and activities: As a first year I participated in the PMP as a mentee and am very excited to be a mentor this year! I am also involved with UVa's Habitat for Humanity as a member of the fundraising committee. I'm a member of Salsa Club and also a member of the Delta Zeta sorority.
Tip to First-Year Self: Try something new!!! You don't want to over-commit yourself during your first year of college, but UVa provides so many amazing opportunities to get involved; take advantage of this and join a club, organization, or activity that you've always thought about but have never tried. It's a great way to meet new kinds of people and to learn more about yourself.
Favorite TV Show: It's a 7 way tie between The Bachelor, Survivor, Homeland, Modern Family, The Apprentice, Happy Endings, and Project Runway
Cultural Background: Barranquilla, Colombia
Major and Academic Interests: I'm majoring in Psychology. I find Business very interesting as well so I'm taking Business-related classes.
Career Aspirations: I want a job where I can combine Psychology with Business skills, so my focus is on Organizational/Industrial Psychology.
UVA Involvement and activities: -Supervisor at Slaughter Recreation Center
-TBLA (Towards a Better Latin America): we host fundraising events aimed at getting economic aid for poor communities in Latin America
-Research Assistant at the Shigehiro Oishi Lab: I manage social psychology experiments by leading the participants through the experimental procedure and then debriefing them
-Daughters of Isabella: an all-girls Catholic group that does philanthropy events
Tip to First-Year Self: When making important decisions consult with your advisors and older friends first. This way you can avoid getting into very hard classes, or classes in which you are not interested. Also, start thinking where you want to live next year as soon as possible because before you know it it's the end of the first semester and all the good apartments are gone.
Favorite TV Show: Lost
Cultural Background: 100% pinolera = Nicaraguan
I was born in Nicaragua, where I lived till I was 17.
For my senior year my family moved to Virginia, where they still live now.
Major and Academic Interests: Foreign Affairs
Career Aspirations: Go to Law School; I have not figured it out past that yet.
UVA Involvement and activities: Jefferson Public Citizen - Conducting a one year research project in Nicaragua and Peru funded by the University
Madison House - Migration Aid Program
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't worry if you get on the wrong bus - everyone does at some point
Don't worry if you don't remember everyone's name - they probably have the same problem
Favorite TV Show: None (hate reality TV)
Federica Perez Vogeler
Cultural Background: Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela
Major and Academic Interests: I'm double majoring in Economics and Foreign Affairs. I'm also interested in Global Development Studies.
Career Aspirations: I'm currently undecided on which path I would like to take in my career. However, I see myself going to graduate school and going back to my country to find a job that seeks to contribute with economic and social development.
UVA Involvement and activities: I'm part of Club Tennis and of the TBLA (Towards a Better Latin America) Club, which aims to raise funds for underdeveloped villages in Latin America as well as to create awareness within the UVA community.
Tip to First-Year Self: The first experience in UVA can be very overwhelming; there are many things to do and a thousands of people to meet. Don't panic, try to get involved in a small amount of clubs that will allow you to start meeting people. Look for someone that can help you find your place in UVA, find classes, or give you tips to help you enjoy your first year in college. PMP is just right!
Favorite TV show: Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, Revenge.. Any chick flick really!
Cultural Background: I was born in Californa, but when I was 2 years old, my family moved to Santiago, Chile and I have been there ever since. My mom is American and my dad is Chilean so I have been brought up with both cultures. I go back every winter and summer break and it is where I call home.
Major and Academic Interests: Im a Biochemistry major and Pre-Phrarmacy
Career Aspirations: Im still deciding wether to become a clinical pharmacist or to go into pharmaceutical research
UVA Involvement and activities: Im a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, a member of the Virginia Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team (VASST), a member of the Pre-Pharmacy Society, and now a mentor for PMP
Tip to First-Year Self: Put yourself out there and meet new people, because you never know who might become your closest friends. Get involved in things you like or might be interested in. Also learn how to study at the college level, its much harder than high school. Time management.
Favorite TV Show: I have too many for my own good, but I would say that my favorite ones are Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother and the Big Bang Theory :)
Cultural Background: I am 100% Brasileira (Brazilian) and 50% Jewish. I was born and raised in Brazil from where I moved in 2010 to the United States.
Major and Academic Interests: I am going to major in Foreign Affairs with concentration in Latin America.
Career Aspirations: I plan to enroll in graduate school in either the area of politics, or public policy. I want to help the countries of Latin America, especially Brazil, become better places with education and good public health system for most of the population. I also intend to help Latino immigrants in the United States and, possibly Israel, which is where I want to live in the future..
UVA Involvement and activities: I am involved at PMP (yay!), Por Colombia, and JRLC (Jewish Religious Life Council)
Tip to First-Year Self: Be yourself (everyone wants to know more about you), be confident, don't forget to study, and don't give in to peer pressure (unless your friends want you to come to PMP events).
Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother, Friends, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and 30 Rock.
Cultural Background: I'm was born in Paterson, New Jersey and currently live in Woodbridge, Virginia but my parents are both Puerto Rican.
Major and Academic Interests: I am planning on applying to the Batten School of Public Policy and Leadership or majoring in Foreign Affairs.
Career Aspirations: I love Washington DC and anything involved with the government, so I hope to be able to get a job in the Pentagon!
UVA Involvement and activities: In addition to PMP, I am a member of the all-female a Cappella group the Virginia Sil'hooettes (a cappella is such an amazing community so if you can sing, don't be scared to audition!!)
Tip to First-Year Self: It's not senior year any more! Do not fall behind on readings because it will build up really fast! Don't wait to study until the night before, this isn't high school. And finally, make sure you have enough sleep. Without it, there is simply no way to function at your full potential.
Favorite TV Show: Glee, Downton Abbey, Vampire Diaries, Modern Family...I can watch these shows for HOURS.
Cultural Background: Mexican!!
Major and Academic Interests: Double major, African American Studies and Sociology with a minor in U.S Latino Studies.
Career Aspirations: I want to be a civil rights/immigration lawyer, with whatever I chose to do I want to give back and help empower the Latino Community.
UVA Involvement and activities: The Latino Student Alliance (LSA) has my heart and soul! I am a part of the advocacy committee, that advocates for the Latino community. I have also been a part of the cultura committee which is in charge of event programing for LSA including Hispanic Heritage Month and Latino Week. We also do community service through tutoring at a local Latino community to elementary school kids. I am also a member of the hot Fuego Dance Team, we promote the Latino culture around UVA through dance. We do everything from folkloric dances from Peru and Bolivia , salsa, merengue, bachata, to hip hop/reggeaton and even techno.
Tip to First-Year Self: Enjoy every minute of college it passes by a lot faster than you can imagine! Lastly, remember work hard but also play hard! You got to have fun.
Favorite TV Show: Anything on the food network.
Luis Oscar Perez
Cultural Background: My family is from Mexico; Juarez and Jalisco to be specific. I'm from California born and raised in Fresno which is in CenCal, but my life belongs to SoCal.
Major and Academic Interests: I'm an Architecture major. I also plan to minor in landscape architecture and potentially psychology. Outside of that I love language and know French and am learning Italian.
Career Aspirations: Well the hope is to become an architect somewhere back in California!
UVA Involvement and activities: I am involved in Questbridge, the Outdoor club and with hope, Club Cross Country next year.
Tip to First-Year Self: Ask for help on anything and learn how to study and manage your time, it makes a big impact.
Favorite TV Show: Hmmm. Right now I make it a point to watch Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, Community and when it comes back, Dexter. All soooo good!
Cultural Background: I am a proud Mexican. Both my parents are from Michoacan, Mexico, but I was born and raised in Manassas, Virginia. However, I have been to Mexico at least 7 times in my life.
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in Civil Engineering and minoring in Architecture. I am thinking about getting a Masters in Architecture as well once I graduate. I would like to learn at least another language, such as Portuguese or Italian.
Career Aspirations: I have always been fascinated in the art of designing and constructing buildings and other strucutures, and I hope to work for a civil engineering firm once I graduate. One day, I would also like to open up my own civil engineering company and to get a Contractor's Class A License.
UVA Involvement and activities: I was one of the interns for Spring Blast 2013. I am also regularly involved with LSA and PMP. I play soccer around grounds whenever I can, whether it is pickup or Intramural. I can play piano; used to play the trumpet.
Tip to First-Year Self: Have fun and get involved!! but always remember your academics are your number one priority! Be organized, study a lot (hard work pays off), and know your limits!
Favorite TV Show: That 70's Show, Workaholics, MythBusters, and any soccer show/channel....soccer is life!
Rebecca Hotchner Blaser
Cultural Background: I was born in Spain and from there moved to several different places including Belgium, England, El Salvador, Mauritius and Uganda. My hometown is Orange, Virginia.
Major and Academic Interests: I'm looking to double major in Biology (B.A.) and History; I'm currently on the pre-med track.
Career Aspirations: I hope to be a surgeon, ideally orthopedic. I've always been really into sports, so sports medicine would also be an interesting field.
UVA Involvement and activities: I'm involved in FYP (First-Year Players), a theater organization.
Tip to First-Year Self: Go to the libraries. They really are the best places to get work done.
Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy - I cry every episode.
Cultural Background: My hometown is Miami, Florida but my nationality is Dominican.
Major and Academic Interests: My intended major is Biological Chemistry. I am Pre-Med/Pre-Pharm student.
Career Aspirations: I aspire to be a researcher in genetics or an Oncologist.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am a member of the Fuego dance team, the Latino Student Alliance, QuestBridge Scholar, and an employee of Aramark Dining Services at UVA.
Tip to First-Year Self: Do not procrastinate and make as many friends as possible!!!
Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother
Cultural Background: Born and raised in Manassas, VA. My parents were born and raised in Mexico so I've had the fantastic experience of growing up in a bi-cultural home =).
Major and Academic Interests: I'm a Computer Science and Psychology double major in the College. I love learning about how people think and why they make the choices they make. Likewise I love learning how computers work and I enjoy making small programs in my spare time.
Career Aspirations: I hope to work for a company that that can stay on top of things but also knows how to have fun once in a awhile. Whether it's a big company or a small one as long as there's a friendly work environment then it's perfect for me =).
UVA Involvement and activities: I currently volunteer weekly at Madison House.
Tip to First-Year Self: If I had to choose one I guess it would be to try and get more involved but not involved in everything. It can become overwhelming especially with a lot of school work. And also to never do anything that you don't feel comfortable with.
Favorite TV Show: I don't watch a lot of television but I'm always open to new shows. My favorite ones would be The Vampire Diaries, and House (even though it ended).
Cultural Background: Born in Caracas, Venezeula but grew up in South Florida!
Major and Academic Interests: Political and Social Thought and English
Career Aspirations: ahh... I'd like to teach? and write? travel? eat well?
UVA Involvement and activities: Adopt-a-Grandparent
University Guide Service
Third Year Council
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't let a preconception or the idea of what you think a place is, or who you think a person is define your time here. Throw yourself into things you're passionate about, surround yourself with people that make you feel ALIVE... this place will change you but its on you to open yourself to the experience.
Favorite TV Show: Wife Swap
Cultural Background: Born and raised in Arlington, VA. I am 50% Brazilian and 100% Jewish.
Major and Academic Interests: I am interested in Environmental Science and tying that with international development. So I'm deciding between hopefully Global Development Studies or Latin American Studies.
Career Aspirations: I am not entirely sure what I want to do yet, but I am totally okay with not knowing just yet. I could see myself working for the government or a non-profit on any environmental or development issue facing our world today. I really would just love to have a job that would let me travel and see the world.
UVA Involvement and activities: This year I have gotten involved with Sustainability Advocates and various other environmental organizations. I am a part of the Jewish Religious Life Council, Dialogue Across UVA, and Alternative Spring Break. I also had the wonderful opportunity to intern with the Office of the Dean of Students to organize this year's La Gala event.
Tip to First-Year Self: My tip would be to not be afraid to put yourself out there even if your are not comfortable at first.
Favorite TV Show: Modern Family
Cultural Background: My mother is Lebanese and my father is Bolivian. I lived in Switzerland for 6 years and have been living in the US for the past 11 years.
Major and Academic Interests: I am a Middle Eastern Studies major following a Pre-Med track.
Career Aspirations: I would like to work in Public Health development for a year or 2 after I graduate and then go on to medical school afterwards
UVA Involvement and activities: Other than PMP I am involved in the UVA Salsa Club, Lebanese Club and the Society of Multicultural Medicine.
Tip to First-Year Self: Be more organized with your time and explore more clubs!
Favorite TV Show: I love Criminal Minds, Law and Order:SVU, Big Bang theory and Suits!
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Portugal, but moved to the U.S.A. the summer before freshmen year of high school.
Major and Academic Interests: I am a Kinesiology Major with a focus on Cardiac Rehabilitation. I am also a Pre-Med student.
Career Aspirations: I hope to go to Medical School upon graduating from UVA and become a Cardiologist.
UVA Involvement and activities: In the past year I have been the Secretary of the Daniel Hale Williams Pre-Med Honor Society, and I am the elected Publicity chair for next year. In the past I have volunteered at the Health South Rehabilitation Hospital and the Southwood Community Outreach Tutoring Program. I have been a participant in the Women Leadership Development Program and the Blue Print Project. Finally, I have also worked with the Outreach Student Admission Committee by being a panelist and by visiting high schools promoting UVA.
Tip to First-Year Self: Live life one day at time and be aware that what’s in the past has passed. These are one of the most important things I have learned while at UVA.
Favorite TV Show: Lately I have been obsessed with Scandal and Monday Mornings.
Cultural Background: I am from Milwaukee Wisconsin, but my mother was born in Colombia and has instilled the Latino culture in me. Unfortunately I don't know Spanish fluently, but I know enough to get by.
Major and Academic Interests: Civil Engineering Major and Government Minor
Career Aspirations: You never know where the post college life will take you, but ideally i will work for an Engineering firm (hopefully construction related) for 3-5 years after college and then if I have the money, get my MBA.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am Brotherhood Chair of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, participant in the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) organization, active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), attendant at Memorial Gymnasium, Co-Captain of the UVa LAX Society, and I enjoy playing all IM sports even though I am not good at many of them.
Tip to First-Year Self: There is a lot of pressure at UVa to be in all sorts of clubs and organizations. Do not feel obligated to join a whole bunch if you do not enjoy them. I would say, however, to be pro-active and actively search for a collection of people where you see yourself best fit, and that you naturally enjoy being around and being an active member in. Academics are certainly a priority, but video games are not, so get off your butt and find something that you are passionate about, that motivates you, that you WANT to dedicate your time to. This is what will make your college experience that much better.
Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother
Game of Thrones
Cultural Background: My mom's Puerto Rican and my dad's German. I'm from Northern Virginia.. yes another from NoVA (:
Major and Academic Interests: Probably Biology or Human Bio. Possible minor in bioethics or Latin American studies. And I'm pre-med.
Career Aspirations: Hopefully go to med school and become a fabulous doctor! I don't know what kind yet, though.
UVA Involvement and activities: Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, Blueprint Leadership Program, Southwood tutoring, Monroe Society.
Tip to First-Year Self: Balance is key. UVA has everything for you: soo many activities and clubs, greek life, fun parties, amazing restaurants, and awesome people. It's easy to get swept away in the excitement and forget what you are actually here for, an education. Make friends, get involved, explore Cville, but make sure you keep your studies in mind. And leave time to sleep!
Favorite TV Show: Guilty pleasure: Pretty Little Liars.
More socially acceptable show: White Collar.
Cultural Background: I am from Grosse Pointe, MI. My mom's parents were from Mexico and have brought the family up with an emphasis on our Mexican culture. I have been lucky enough to visit family in Mexico and my family here still holds most of the traditions at home. My grandma makes sure to make the family a mexican meal every Sunday!
Major and Academic Interests: I am in the Curry school and am majoring in kinesiology. I would like to go into occupational therapy or therapeutic recreation to work with special needs children. I love my kinesiology classes and my favorite class so far has been human movement, where I got to learn about physical education and class took place in the gymnasium.
Career Aspirations: I would like to work with special needs children in programs to get them more physically active. I would love to move back to Michigan to work.
UVA Involvement and activities: I was mentored in the Peer Mentoring Program last year and loved it! I am also a member of the Alpha Phi sorority.
Tip to First-Year Self: I was way too scared to ask questions and go up to people and introduce myself, but I wish i had the courage too. No question is dumb and everyone is in the same boat and trying to meet new people as well! I would have liked to get more involved in programs around grounds like an IM team or a service project. Try everything!!
Favorite TV Show: I love T.V.! I'm a sucker for cheesy reality T.V. like Bacherlor/Bachelorette and the Bachelor Pad. My guilty pleasure is Pretty Little Liars, the drama is intense! I also love Modern Family, SVU and have recently gotten into How I Met Your Mother.
Cultural Background: Half Mexican, and the rest German, Irish, and Welsh
Major and Academic Interests: I am hoping get into the Commerce School and am currently pursuing a Spanish Major
Career Aspirations: I would love to get involved in Investment Banking in New York City, working with leading firms such as J.P. Morgan or Morgan Stanley. Investment for non-profit organizations would be ideal.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am a member of the Business Ethics Society, Smart Women Securities, and the PMP of course!
Tip to First-Year Self: Don’t be scared to get involved and try new things!
Favorite TV Show: Anything on the Food Network. I love Iron Chef and Chopped!
Cultural Background: I am half Hispanic, from Richmond, VA. My mom is American and my dad is from El Salvador. I loved having different cultural influences growing up!
Major and Academic Interests: I am in the School of Nursing, so obviously that is my passion. I love science classes, and I've also found that I have an interest for religious studies, so I'm considering minoring in that.
Career Aspirations: Of course since I am in the School of Nursing, I aspire to be a nurse. What kind of nurse, I'm not sure of yet. There are so many opportunities for nurses and so many options I can choose from. For the longest time I wanted to be a neonatal nurse, working with newborn babies in the hospital. Lately, I have been thinking I want something a little more fast-paced though, like flight nursing in the Air Force. We'll see!
UVA Involvement and activities: In addition to being involved in PMP and LSA, I am also in baking club and Circle K (which is like Key Club), and Nurses Without Borders. I also play soccer for an adult co-ed rec league in Charlottesville. It's a lot of fun and I plan on getting involved in more sports activities next year. They are a lot of fun!
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't be hesitant. Try new activities and sign up for things you would have never thought to try. You definitely learn so much about yourself in your college years, finally being away from your parents and the people you have been around your entire life. It is time to fully explore your options and all the University and this world has to offer.
Favorite TV Show: My favorite shows are probably That 70s Show, The Walking Dead and Modern Family.
Cultural Background: I am NOVA born and raised, but my mom is from Nicaragua and my dad is from Columbia.
Major and Academic Interests: I'm pre-commerce, hoping to concentrate in marketing. I am also pursuing a Business Spanish minor.
Career Aspirations: I hope to have a career in marketing or public relations!
UVA Involvement and activities: I have volunteered with Cavs in the Classroom and Days on the Lawn. I am also in Baking Club. Next year I am planning to become more involved in one of McIntire's organization.
Tip to First-Year Self: Explore your interests and get outside your comfort zone! Everyone has their own unique UVa experience, so don't worry about what other people are doing. Do you what you want to do, and you'll have a great first year!
Favorite TV Show: It's a tie between Friends, which is a classic, and Friday Night Lights (clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose).
Cultural Background: I was born and raised and currently live in Guatemala City. My mother is from El Salvador and my father is from Nicaragua.
Major and Academic Interests: I am a third year student double majoring in Global Development Studies and Environmental Science.
Career Aspirations: I hope one day I can work in projects in developing countries related to renewable energy and sustainable development.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am the community service chair of Sigma Delta Tau.
Tip to First-Year Self: Get involved in what you like from the start and stick to it. Meet new people everyday and try to take more science classes.
Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy and the Big Bang Theory
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and both of my parents are from Colombia.
Major and Academic Interests: I am a double major in foreign affairs and Latin American Studies.
Career Aspirations: I hope to work in a non-profit organization or a NGO to being my career in the advocacy sphere. Eventually I hope to work for the state department in an embassy.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am a member of the Fuego Dance Team, and a member of LSA. I also have an internship with the bilingual magazine Forward/Adelante.
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone more often.
Favorite TV Show: At the moment game of thrones, but I am also excited for the return of Arrested Development.
Cultural Background: I'm from Queens, NY, born and raised in Brooklyn, and from Ecuadorian descent
Major and Academic Interests: My major is Foreign Affairs. I enjoy Philosophy and Latino Studies
Career Aspirations: In the future, I hope to work in the Media Industry
UVA Involvement and activities: I am currently in the Manicure for Muscular Dystrophy club and I will be their event coordinator in the fall. I'm also involved in Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't be afraid to ask for help
Favorite TV Show: Vampire Diaries, The Big Bang Theory
Cultural Background: I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, but have lived in Jersey City, NJ since 2001.
Major and Academic Interests: I am a Foreign Affairs major and a History minor, and basically interested in anything in the social sciences. I also have a solid background in Economics.
Career Aspirations: There are so many great opportunities out there that I'd love it's hard to pin down just one. I honestly want a job that would enable me to help others, possibly travel a bit, wear great outfits, and make me happy.
UVA Involvement and activities: PMP! I have been a mentee, mentor, and part of the Executive Board. I am also in Fuego Dance Team. I am also involved with the Latino Student Alliance, an organization I love so much.
Tip to First-Year Self: TRY OUT FOR THINGS! BE INVOLVED! Don't be scared that you're only a first year or that it's your first time [dancing, teaching others, streaking the lawn, event planning, etc.]. First year is a magical year full of so many opportunities you'll wish you could've taken when you had the chance. Keep an eye on your GPA too though - you wanna start off strong.
Favorite TV Show: So hard to pick just one, so here's a (short) list: Dexter, Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl (RIP), How I Met Your Mother, and The Mindy Project.
Cultural Background: I am from La Paz, Bolivia and proud hispanic resident of Miami, FL
Major and Academic Interests: Philosophy & Economics. More specifically I have an interest in personal identity theory and what it means to be you and plan to write my senior thesis on this topic. Also, I am very interested in the labor markets in the area of economics.
Career Aspirations: I hope to go on to become a lawyer in the area of corporate law, or a consultant in the financial market.
UVA Involvement and activities: I volunteer in the PLAY program through the Madison House here at UVa. I am also currently the assistant promotions manager for the Black Sheep Newspaper for UVa students by UVa students.
Tip to First-Year Self: Do your reading!! And stay ahead of deadlines instead of just meeting them!!
Favorite TV Show: Chopped and Boardwalk Empire
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. After I finished high school there, I decided to come to Virginia for college.
Major and Academic Interests: I recently got accepted into the Commerce School in which I plan on concentrating in Finance and Management.
Career Aspirations: I hope to one day be able to combine my passion for business with my love for the arts and be able to work in the Management department of a music label.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am currently involved in various activities at the University. First of all, I am part of Mahogany Dance Troupe which is one of UVa's oldest hip hop dance crew. I also plan on becoming part of the executive member board of this club next semester. Other than this, I am a Zumba instructor at the AFC and I also dance with University Dance Club. I am also part of Delta Delta Delta sorority in which I am music chair and I volunteer with Madison House in their Hispanic Migrant Aid Program.
Tip to First-Year Self: One of the most important tips I could give my First-Year would be to not get involved in too many activities just because “they would look good on your resume;” you really do not want to do this! They will all catch up to you and then you will not be able to dedicate as much time to any of them. During the activities fair, pick and choose the ones that you believe would interest you the most, and after you attend the meetings, stick with the ones that you identified with really well.
Favorite TV Show: This is definitely a hard one! I think one of my all time favorite shows would be The OC! I definitely enjoy plenty of other shows such as New Girl, Glee, and some reality TV shows.
Cultural Background: I was born in Bogota, Colombia but I was raised in Maryland.
Major and Academic Interests: As of now, I have not declared a major, but I am considering a government major and a public policy masters (Batten school.) I am also waiting to hear back from the Commerce school.
Career Aspirations: I would love to own a business someday and eventually run for an office in Congress.
UVA Involvement and activities: Since my first semester at UVA, I have been heavily involved in the Latino Student Alliance and of course, the Peer Mentoring Program. Through Madison House, I volunteer as a Spanish interpreter for non-English speaking patients at the UVA hospital. During my first year, I participated in the Blueprint Leadership program. I am a brother of Theta Chi Fraternity and I have participated in Greek leadership activities such as Greek Advance.
Tip to First-Year Self: Try something new! This is the best time to explore new interests and passions.
Favorite TV Show: I'm a huge fan of pretty much any HBO series like Entourage, The Wire, and Boardwalk Empire. My all time favorite is definitely Entourage.
Monica Tenorio de Figueiredo Gabell
Cultural Background: I never know how to answer the question: "where are you from?". Family is Swedish/Portuguese, but I grew up in Mexico until I was 12, followed by 8 years in Brazil. However, I consider myself latina. I graduated from an international high school in Curitiba, Brazil and somehow ended up in Charlottesville, VA.
Major and Academic Interests: B.S. in Environmental Sciences, possibly with a Specialization in Environmental and Biological Conservation. And yes there is more to it than just tree-hugging!
Career Aspirations: I honestly don't know yet, and should probably figure it out sooner or later. I would prefer a job that will allow me to move around and travel every so often. I grew up moving around and I like the excitement of exploring each new place and culture. * Plan B is to open up a dive shop and scuba dive somewhere in the Caribbean! Not a horrible life either.
UVA Involvement and activities: I've been in Salsa Club for 3 years and love it. We have performances every semester and I've made many good friends. I have also been part of the skiing and snowboarding team (VASST), and played in a couple of intramural soccer tournaments.
Tip to First-Year Self: You'll hear this a lot, but yes do get involved! Don't be shy, and try something completely different. You might find a new passion/obsession.
Favorite TV Show: I'm more of a movie person, but there are a few shows that I do watch. My favorite ones are Sherlock and Game of Thrones - the books are fantastic too! I started watching Chuck for the first time this week, so we'll see about that one!
Paul Van Pernis
Cultural Background: Nashville, TN. Lived there all my life.
Major and Academic Interests: Double majoring in Systems Engineering and Economics
Career Aspirations: Not really sure. Possibly something in finance or business
UVA Involvement and activities: At UVa I am involved in RUF, a christian fellowship, the IFC, and the Madison House program Briding the Gap. I am also in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Tip to First-Year Self: Get to know your teachers. They have a lot to offer both in and beyond the classroom.
Favorite TV Show: Scrubs
Cultural Background: I am from Reston, Virginia. Culturally, my father was born and raised in suburban Chicago, and my mother was born in Cuba and moved to the states as a child.
Major and Academic Interests: Currently undecided, but pursuing majors in a politically-oriented field and in Spanish. Other interests include public health, philosophy, and Buddhism.
Career Aspirations: Not entirely sure at the moment, but I would ideally like to work either for a humanitarian or non-profit organization either domestically or abroad, or in politics. Also considering a career public health and/or in food policy, working to promote national health through better eating. Simply, my goal is to help people in some way.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am a member of the University singers, as well as a brother of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. I also serve on the Diversity and Advisory Board, which works through the Honor Committee to promote university-wide outreach and to foster discussion on honor among different organizations on grounds. Also played on the Club B-team for Ultimate Frisbee first semester.
Tip to First-Year Self: Work efficiently. There's way too many great things to do at UVA, and you don't wanna miss out.
Favorite TV Show: It's a toss up between Friday Night Lights, The Office, and Family Guy. ESPN is always a consistent go-to as well.
Cultural Background: My dad is Colombian and my mom is Panamanian and African-American.
Major and Academic Interests: I plan to be a Foreign Affairs major, with a focus in Africa. Also, possibly a WGS minor.
Career Aspirations: To work for the State Department. Specifically, working with the region of Africa, maybe promoting gender equality and women's rights throughout the continent.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am a part of PMP, LSA, BSA, OAAA, and Fashion for a Cause.
Tip to First-Year Self: Be social and outgoing! Put yourself out there and meet people from everywhere and of different backgrounds. Having such a diverse friend group will change your outlook on life and on college.
Favorite TV Show: Too many to count! My guilty pleasure is Awkward on MTV but I am a die hard Grey's Anatomy fan.
Ana Cristina Derrick
Cultural Background: I was born in El Salvador and have been moving around the world my whole life because of my father's job. My mother is form Spain and my father is American so I've had the privilege of being exposed to many cultures.
Major and Academic Interests: I'm undecided about my major but am looking towards Economics and Business.
Career Aspirations: I'd like to work in advertisement or marketing and would love a job that would allow me to travel the world.
UVA Involvement and activities: I'm involved with the Catholic Student Ministry, Hispanic Peer Mentoring Program, and volunteering for animals in Pause 4 Paws.
Tip to First-Year Self: Try to get involved as much as you can in things that interest you (like clubs). You end up meeting so many nice people and creating great friendships. Also, try to find a balance between having fun and studying.
Favorite TV Show: Friends- I find it so funny and entertaining!
Andrea Mendoza Perez
Cultural Background: I'm originally from Barquisimeto, Venezuela, but I've lived in Washington D.C., Kansas, and Florida. Both of my parents are Venezuelan and I couldn't be prouder to be Venezolana.
Major and Academic Interests: I'm an English major with a possible minor in Anthropology or Astronomy (not sure). And I love writing! My fiction writing class first semester of my first year was the best.
Career Aspirations: I want to go into publishing/editing with companies like Scholastic and Random House. I also want to write.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am president of the Harry Potter Alliance at UVA and I participate in MUN.
Tip to First-Year Self: SLEEP. Don't stay up late watching Netflix; you'll regret it in the morning when your alarm goes off and you start thinking of skipping class to sleep in. And don't be afraid to order Campus Cookies more often.
Favorite TV Show: Doctor Who. Favorite doctor: Eleven. You can never go wrong with Matt Smith in a bow tie.
Cultural Background: My mother was originally from Cuba and my father's family is primarily from Ireland and France.
Major and Academic Interests: I am attempting to major in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. I eventually want to attempt to get a degree in Robotics during Graduate School.
Career Aspirations: I want to be a Robotical Engineer that specializes in defense or an Engineer for a major exotic car company.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am currently the webmaster for the society of Professional Hispanic Engineers, an Engineering Representative in Student Council, an RA for Lambeth, and of course a PMP Mentor.
Tip to First-Year Self: Beware the food, and always ask if the dessert is fresh.
Favorite TV Show: My favorite TV show is probably Supernatural.
Claudia R. Fonseca
Cultural Background: 100% Honduran American! Both of my parents are from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, but I was raised in Alexandria, VA. I have actually never had the opportunity to visit Honduras, but needless to say, I am very attached to my Hispanic culture, as well as the Anglo culture in which I was raised.
Major and Academic Interests: I'm a second year in the College of Arts and Sciences, though I was previously in the Engineering School. I am currently undecided (which is totally fine, First Years!), but I am hoping to double major in Economics and Music, with a possible minor in Foreign Affairs.
Career Aspirations: You know, I'm still making up my mind as to what I want to pursue, but I am really passionate about cultures and languages. I hope that at some point in my life, I am able to not only travel the world, but also live in different countries for an extended period and truly be immersed in a culture.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am part of the Virginia Ambassadors, which seeks to spread the joy of attending UVa to prospective students. I am also a part of the Cru Christian Fellowship. I'm hoping to be involved in Madison House and the UVa Symphony Orchestra next year.
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't forget about "me time". I cannot stress that enough! Everyone at UVa is so involved that we often neglect to do things for ourselves. It may be a bit selfish, but I think it's absolutely necessary. Also, don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! Whether it's asking a question in class or seeking more information about a particular major, don't feel intimidated by professors, TAs, or fellow peers. No one at UVa knows everything, so it's okay to ask. And how else would we learn if it weren't for asking?
Favorite TV Show: Honestly, since I've been in college, I really haven't had time (or for that matter, the will) to follow TV shows, but I have recently watched some seasons of Supernatural and Breaking Bad. I'm mostly a movie person, though.
Eduardo A Contreras Velasco
Cultural Background: Born and raised in Lima, Peru. Moved to the states at the age of 14 and went to High School in Virginia.
Major and Academic Interests: I am a rising fourth year in the McIntire School of Commerce. My concentrations are Finance and Management with en Entrepreneurship and Business Analytics tracks.
Career Aspirations: Following graduation, I aspire to work in I-Banking, Investment Management or in a PE shop.
UVA Involvement and activities: I work as an Intramural referee as well as play in IM leagues and tournaments. If you are interested in playing, definitely let me know! Also, I have been involved in the ENACTUS Revenue Generating Team. Two years ago I had the honor to be part of the Executive Board of the Peer Mentoring Program, and I’m psyched to be a mentor once again this year!
Tip to First-Year Self: Besides making the most out of your first year experience (because it is truly unique and amazing), I encourage everyone to attend your professors’ office hours and get to know them. You’d be surprised how cool some of them really are! Professors are devoted to helping students and are a great resource if you are looking for research opportunities, letter of recommendation, career advice, etc. Also, first-year is the easiest year in school, get involved and have fun!
Favorite TV Show: My favorite TV shows are Homeland, Game of Thrones, Falling Skies, the Walking Dead, and Revenge.
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I then moved to the United States when I was 10 and then went back to the University of Puerto Rico- Rio Piedras for my first year of college and then, finally, transferred to UVa.
Major and Academic Interests: I am a Political and Social Thought major with the goal of going to law school right after college.
Career Aspirations: I plan on being a lawyer and staying involved in politics. The details will be figured out along the way.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am an exec in the Student Hip Hop Organization, I was an exec in Hoos for Obama, and I also hold two jobs on grounds.
Tip to First-Year Self: I transferred in as a second year but I would tell myself not to get overwhelmed with the idea of getting as involved as possible. It is very easy to overextend yourself and find out that you only care about one or two organizations.
Favorite TV Show: The Fresh Prince and Saved by the Bell basically taught me English.
Cultural Background: Born and raised in Costa Rica
Major and Academic Interests: Psychology Major
Global Culture and Commerce Minor
Career Aspirations: After I graduate I want to go back to Costa Rica and become a clinical psychologist
UVA Involvement and activities: TBLA (Towards a Better Latin America) Member 2010-currently
UPC (University Programs Council) Member 2011-2012
Tip to First-Year Self: If you're not early, you're late.
There's no such thing as a stupid question.
Get to know your professors.
Enjoy every moment at UVA!
Favorite TV Show: Friends!
Cultural Background: I was born in Baños, Ecuador. I came to the United States before my 2nd birthday and now live in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Major and Academic Interests: I am an architecture major! Growing up around my uncle's construction company, I have been inspired me to become a designer for structures and buildings that have such an impact on social aspects of the world.
Career Aspirations: I really want to pursue my goal of being a professional architect. I would love to work with an architecture firm or even work independently. My uncle is already planning to hire me to make blue prints for his construction business!
UVA Involvement and activities: I am a proud Hermana of UVA's newest Latina Sorority: Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latina Unidas Sorority Incorporated. I am very passionate about my culture and Latino community. Representing as a Latina on grounds is absolutely amazing.
I am also part of swim club, as I have swam since elementary school. I try to keep swimming part of my life. I have been involved with Fuego. I love to dance, especially to Latino music and absolutely love performing. My first year I completed the Women's Leadership Developmental Program as well.
Tip to First-Year Self: Get more focused & go to the library! I tried to do so much and I was amazingly able to manage most of it. But I often wasted a lot of useful time. I concentrate the best when I bury myself in the stacks of the library with silence!
Favorite TV Show: What's TV?!? I barely have time to watch TV, there's too many fun things to do in college!!
Cultural Background: I am from Cali Colombia and grew up in Alexandria, Virginia.
Major and Academic Interests: I am studying Architecture and I plan on minoring in Landscape Architecture.
Career Aspirations: I dream of working for an architecture firm and be able to work aboard in Italy.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am in Sigma Lambda Upsilon/ Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc., Virginia Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team, Salsa Club, and Pancakes for Parkinsons.
Tip to First-Year Self: A tip to myself would be do not take 18 credits and to use your resources that you have available around you such as the Writing Center.
Favorite TV Show: My favorite TV shows are How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, and Spongebob.
Cultural Background: Colombian born and raised!
Major and Academic Interests: Psychology and Anthropology
Masters in Public Policy with Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
Career Aspirations: Make people smile.
UVA Involvement and activities: University Dance Club
Class of 2014 Trustees
LGBT Resource Center Volunteer
Tip to First-Year Self: Make friends, go to class and work hard (GPA booster), join lots of clubs!
And don't do something I would't do which narrows it down quite a lot.
Favorite TV Show: Saturday Night Live, Tosh.O, The Soup, and Mad Men
Cultural Background: I am from Fredericksburg, Virginia and have lived there most of my life. My mom is from Puerto Rico and my dad is from Greece. So I've been lucky to experience two cultures!
Major and Academic Interests: I am in the Engineering school and majoring in Chemical Engineering.
Career Aspirations: I hope to graduate from UVA in the spring of 2015 and begin my career in pharmaceuticals, hopefully working for a well known company.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.
Tip to First-Year Self: Have fun, but stay on track! It is always important to remember your goals.
Favorite TV Show: My favorite TV shows are almost anything on ABC family as well as The Vampire Dairies. I also enjoy some humor from the Big Bang Theory.
Cultural Background: Born in Cali, Colombia ; lived in Miami, FL ; currently residing in Hershey, PA
Major and Academic Interests: Systems Engineering
Career Aspirations: I want to be a business manager, move back to Miami, live the good life...
UVA Involvement and activities: Breakthrough Collaborative Internship in Orange County, summer 2013
University Guide Service
Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Rush Chair
Student Council, Student Life
Alternative Spring Break
Tip to First-Year Self: Nova is not short for Villanova; Newcomb to-go has the best food on-grounds; Treasure your sleep (seriously); Make friends with your R.A; More importantly, just accept the fact that everything at UVa is extremely competitive and odds are that you will not get into everything you want, but it is those moments when you get that acceptance that make everything worth it.
Favorite TV Show: Lie to me
Cultural Background: Both of my parents are Ecuadorian and I was born and raised in Virginia.
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in Psychology and I am currently on the Pre-Med track. I am also thinking about minoring in biology.
Career Aspirations: I hope to be a doctor someday and have my own practice possibly in something involving Pediatrics. I would love to travel the world as a doctor and help those in need.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am currently involved in American Medical Student Association and Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Professional Honor Society, which are both pre-health clubs. I am also involved with Madison House and I volunteer at a daycare.
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't be afraid to try new things! The sooner you get involved the easier the transition into college is!
Favorite TV Show: I love watching shows that make me laugh like New Girl or Modern Family.
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Guatemala. However, my parents are both from Taiwan.
Major and Academic Interests: Major: Architecture
Minor: Global Sustainability
Career Aspirations: Become an astounding licensed architect!
UVA Involvement and activities: AIAS - member, Global Architecture Brigades - treasurer, Sigma Delta Tau Sorority - Historian, Architecture group project.
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't stress out about what classes to take. Take the ones that interest you because you might get inspired and change your major. This happened to me. I started by fulfilling pre-dentistry requirements, which I did not enjoy. Then I took a class that I thought would be interesting and I ended up changing my major to Architecture.
Favorite TV Show: Modern Family, Vampire Diaries, Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and Grey's Anatomy.
Cultural Background: Born and raised in Maryland from Salvadoran parents
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently in the e-school majoring in Systems Engineering. However, I am also following a pre-Commerce and plan to apply to the Comm school in the winter.
Career Aspirations: As cool as engineering is, I'm more interested in the business aspect of it all. I'm not really sure what I want to do yet, I just hope it has something to do with business.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am part of the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and am involved with the Gates Millennium Scholars here at UVA
Tip to First-Year Self: Balancing work and fun is crucial. Don't let your academics go to waste because of parties, but also, live a little. Have fun. Remember, these are supposed to be some of the best four years of your life.
Favorite TV Show: Entourage. Weeds. How I met your mother. Californication. Dexter. Chuck.... I like TV shows....
Cultural Background: I was born in Alexandria, VA before I moved to Peru, where the majority of my family was living at the time. I have lived in two different districts of Lima, and am now living in Germantown, MD. But my roots stay true to my Peruvian culture. I love the food, the people, the music, the history, all of it.
Major and Academic Interests: I'm a double major in Biology and Physics. I've always had an interest in physics, but my main focus is on the biology major. Science geek status.
Career Aspirations: After college, I plan on taking a gap year just like I did after high school. During that year, I'll be applying to grad school so that I can get my Ph.D. in some area of cell biology. I'd like for my career to center around cancer research, so my undergrad experience is tailored around learning as much as I can to prepare myself for the research I'll have to do in grad school. Find me in about 7 years. I hope to be called Dr. Grande by then. In 20 years, I'd like to direct my own team at the National Institute of Health. In 30 years, I'd like to have a tenured position as a biology professor.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am currently the Senior Resident of Woody/Cauthen dorms. During my third year, I was an RA at Lefevre and a member of the executive board of PMP. My main academic extracurricular is the pharmacology lab position I have at the med school. I try to stay involved with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers as much as I can as well. As for my own interests, I know I may seem like a bookworm, but I also have a deep passion for music, whether it's latin, r&b, soul, hip hop, rock, funk, etc. I go out to as many musical events around grounds as I can, and I also like to perform at every chance I get. As a first year, I joined the cast of Rent, produced by the UVA musical theater group, First Year Players.
Tip to First-Year Self: I was very academically-oriented during my first semester. Because I was so focused on school, I missed out on forming friendships with other first years. You want to establish these relationships sooner rather than later, or you might start to feel left out. That doesn't mean go out and party every night, though! Find the right balance! Oh, and don't have a cheeseburger every single night at the Castle. You may or may not gain 15 pounds that semester.
Favorite TV Show: I forced myself to not have a TV last year because I knew I wouldn't get my HW done if I always had the option of watching my favorite show. But if I'm ever flipping through channels, I will always always ALWAYS stop channel surfing if I see The Fresh Prince.
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and both of my parents are Puerto Ricans.
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring Biomedical Engineering. I enjoy everything related to math and biology, especially cell biology research and disease pathology. I am also pre-med.
Career Aspirations: I hope to become a doctor in medicine, probably a pediatrician or neurologist. If I change my mind and decide not to go to med school, I would continue graduate studies in biomedical engineering or biology, but I would still work in something related to the medical field. I also plan to be involved in missionary work.
UVA Involvement and activities: At UVA I am a member of the Student Interpreters Services initiative through Madison House Medical Services. Members of this program serve as volunteer translators for Hispanic patients at the UVA hospital. I love to dance and that's why I am part of the LSA Fuego Dance Team and also danced with Mahogany Dance Troupe. Additionally, I am part of the Engineering mentoring program and the Society of Hispanic and Professional Engineers.
Tip to First-Year Self: If I could tell my first-year self anything it would be not to worry so much and know how to balance things. Studying is important but building relationships with people also is.
Favorite TV Show: Right now I'm hooked with Game of Thrones.
Cultural Background: Puerto Rican/Chilean
Major and Academic Interests: Double major in Biology and Latin American Studies. I am on the pre-dental track as I love smiling and laughing! A perfect smile will brighten anyone's day so being able to give people the confidence to shine their inner beauty would be amazing as a future orthodontist. I am also majoring in Latin American Studies because I love my culture so I want to be more educated about the history of my people. In addition, as a future orthodontist, I want to work with a national Dental Brigades organization to work in latin american countries a couple weeks out of each year to bring free dental care to those in need. I will also be studying in Valencia, Spain in the Summer of 2013 so I am excited!!!
Career Aspirations: To be an orthodontist!! But I have always advocated for latino rights especially around the realm of education so that would be my side hobby that I would be passionate about.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am going to do a list because that is easier:
1. Founding Hermana and President of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Senoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc., which is a latina-based, but not latina-exclusive Sorority in the Latino greek life. Our purpose is to empower latina women to strive to achieve excellence in many areas and to bring together the Latino community in general. Here at the University, we are the Alpha Rho Chapter and our alpha line is comprised of 4 strong women that crossed Spring 2013.
2. Latino Student Alliance Exec Member. I have been active with LSA since first year in different areas such as advocacy, cultura and exec in general. We put on events that impact students here on grounds and nationally with cultural, educational, or political themes.
3. Latino/Hispanic Peer Mentoring Program. This will be my third year as a mentor and I am really close to all those who have been my mentees thus far :) PMP puts on fun social events to get to know everyone in the program better, especially the many latinos that go to the University.
4. Pre-Dental Society
5. Blueprint Leadership Program
Tip to First-Year Self: Work hard, play hard!! Academics always comes first! Do not overwhelm yourself with being involved in too many organizations your first year, but you should definitely be actively involved in the student community. Join greek life, a sports team, etc! My grand advice would be to go hard with your studies during the week that way you can have fun and enjoy your weekends without worries! The hard work during the weekdays such as Mon-Thurs will pay off, trust me :)
Favorite TV Show: I have many so here they are: How I Met Your Mother, Walking Dead, That 70's Show, Boy Meets World, SpongeBob SquarePants, Tom & Jerry etc
Cultural Background: I was born in Venezuela and moved to Miami, FL when I was nine years old.
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in Psychology and Spanish.
Career Aspirations: After college, I want to go to graduate school and get a masters degree in Forensic Psychology. I want to work in a correctional setting (jail or court) or work for the government.
UVA Involvement and activities: Aside from PMP, I am part of the Quest Scholars at UVa and the Psychological Society at UVa. I also volunteer through Madison House and work as a Dining Educator.
Tip to First-Year Self: Step out of your comfort zone! Do things you've never done before and you'll learn so many things about yourself. Also, talk to your neighbors earlier in the year. They'll be your new best friends and your support group.
Favorite TV Show: I am addicted to so many TV shows like New Girl, Glee, Dexter, The Vampire Diaries, Girls, True Blood... And the list goes on! But I guess my favorite TV show is The Vampire Diaries. I just love the story line and of course Damon!
Cultural Background: I am Cuban and Italian, and have lived in New Jersey my whole life. NJ all day!
Major and Academic Interests: I plan on double majoring in financial math and mathematical statistics. I also really love and enjoy art history but can't triple major, so unfortunately I can only minor in it.
Career Aspirations: I hope to work any job with math or finance, potentially live in DC and work with the government, or live in Charleston or NYC working with finance. Then I plan to go back to grad school for an MBA. I'll basically do anything and live anywhere as long as my job involves math.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am a sports writer for Wahoo Wire, a UVA student-run sports website. I also volunteer with Special Olympics, especially soccer and basketball. Next, I work at Newcomb as an event assistant, and I joined the UVA international buddy program as well.
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone, and don't let school work/grades stress you out too much.
Favorite TV Show: Revenge!
Alejandro Ramirez Disla
Cultural Background: Dominican Republic
Major and Academic Interests: Bachelor in Commerce with concentrations in Finance and Accounting. Minor in economics.
Career Aspirations: Consultant / Banker / Business Owner
UVA Involvement and activities: The Alternative Investment Fund, McIntire Investment Institute, and The Washington Literary and Debating Society.
Tip to First-Year Self: Join CIO's. They'll help you meet people with similar interests and are an effective way to use your time at the university.
Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother
Cultural Background: I am half Colombian, half Japanese, but was raised in Northern Virginia. In addition, my stepmother was born/raised in Spain but had spent the last 23 years living in France so I have had a bit of European influence in my life as well.
Major and Academic Interests: I am planning to concentrate in either finance or accounting (or perhaps both) at the McIntire School of Commerce. I may also pursue a minor in WGS (Women, Gender & Sexuality), but plans are tentative.
Career Aspirations: I don't exactly know what/where I want to work after graduation, but I do know that I want to travel the world. I'm also open to working for a non-profit that supports a cause I'm passionate about (such as sustainability, third world women, education... there's a lot of them :P)
UVA Involvement and activities: I am treasurer of FIFE (Feminism is for Everyone) and play for the Women's Ultimate Frisbee Club team (sooo much fun). I also like to attend random events different groups around the University host. There's always so many things happening around Grounds that it actually takes effort to be bored.
Tip to First-Year Self: Be open to new experiences and people. Make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities and resources at the University during your first year. With all the clubs and activities you can get involved in, it’s a lot easier making UVa feel smaller. Also, don't be afraid to talk to upperclassmen! They are yet another resource that'll help make your first year experience that much better.
Favorite TV Show: Arrested Development. If you haven't seen it, please do so. Now.
Cultural Background: I am from Austin, Texas and am half Hispanic (my dad is from Mexico) with the other half a mixture of Irish, German, Swiss and French
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently enrolled in the nursing school and plan to minor in bioethics
Career Aspirations: To become a neonatal nurse practitioner and serve in an underprivileged area of the world
UVA Involvement and activities: Nursing Student Council, University Judiciary Committee, Intern at the Office of Dean of Students, Catholic Student Ministry, Madison House, Abundant Life Tutoring, Days on the Lawn Team Leader
Tip to First-Year Self: Get to know everyone those first few weeks of school and the rest of the semester, I guarantee that you will end up seeing them at some random event or club and who knows, they may end up becoming one of your closet friends
Favorite TV Show: I hardly ever watch TV at the University, but Chuck used to be my favorite show until it ended a couple of seasons ago
Ava (Junxin) Chen
Cultural Background: I was born in Hong Kong, but had moved to NYC when I was about 12. Then went back to mainland China, Shenzhen again for middle school, but again moved back to Long Island, NY, to finish high school. While continuously traveling with my parents throughout that time period...
Major and Academic Interests: I am planning to do pre-comm, but nothing is settled yet...
Career Aspirations: Found my interests in PR and marketing after interning in fashion magazine last summer, but also love event planning and traveling. So I might end up as a person who fly around all the time just for the heck of it.
UVA Involvement and activities: Global Student Council-Group project leader
VISAS-International TAs' Classroom Consultant
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't be afraid and just ask. Or better yet, just tag alone. Sometimes if you have no idea what is going on, just randomly follow the crowd and you'll see. People here are genuinely friendly and are all willing to help.
Favorite TV Show: House of Cards, Revenge, Modern Family, Whites, Downton Abbey, The Mindy Project, Mad Men
Cultural Background: I am from California. My dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Guatemala.
Major and Academic Interests: I am interested in the medical field. I was premed last year, but I'm hoping to transfer into the nursing school, double major in Spanish, and minor in psychology.
Career Aspirations: I want to be a nurse.
UVA Involvement and activities: I'm in Cru fellowship, OSAC, Quest Scholars at UVa, Madison House Medical Services (SISI), and PMP.
Tip to First-Year Self: It's okay not to be the top of your class. Grades don't define you!
Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother is pretty great!
Cultural Background: My mother is from Argentina, and my father is from Iran. I visit Argentina every year for the winter holidays and I am very fortunate to see my family that frequently. I, however, am from Virginia Beach (oh yeah 757), which has a culture all of its own!
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently hoping to major in either Chemistry or complete a distinguished majors program in Human Biology. I am also completing the Pre-Med course selection.
Career Aspirations: I plan to apply to Medical School, and hope to be accepted to a Medical Program, but that is so far away! For now I plan to continue volunteering in my local food pantry, and also continue to volunteer with the Virginia Beach Medical Reserve Corps. I am also a Peer Health Educator, so that will help greatly with becoming more involved in the hospital and developing my interpersonal skills, as well as helping others so that I will be prepared to work with patients if I become a Doctor.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am involved in the Peer Mentoring Program (woop woop), I am a Peer Health Educator, a member of the AED Pre-Med honor society, and a member of the UVA Student Garden Club.
Tip to First-Year Self: I would tell myself coming in as a first year to go study and complete all of my work in the library, as I do now. Libraries are such a productive environment, and work is completed so much more efficiently in libraries. I spend more time in libraries than I do in my room now, so that I can get ahead on work and enjoy my weekend without worrying about that paper due on Monday or that one homework assignment due on Sunday.
Favorite TV Show: To be honest, I do not watch TV in college. If I watch TV, I am watching soccer but I do not know if that would qualify as a TV show. I would like to watch Game of Thrones, and the Walking Dead and will probably pick that up over the summer.
Cultural Background: I am from La Paz Bolivia
Major and Academic Interests: Politics and History Major
Career Aspirations: I would like get involved covering and participating actively in politics in Bolivia.
UVA Involvement and activities: LSA Exec, One in Four, IFC Governing Board, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Social Chair.
Tip to First-Year Self: You are not the only one who messes up, and college is four years of learning form your mistakes.
Favorite TV Show: 60 Minutes, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, House Cards.
Cultural Background: Panama
Major and Academic Interests: Major: Foreign Affairs
Career Aspirations: Lawyer and economist
UVA Involvement and activities: TBLA
Tip to First-Year Self: Be open to new activities and interests
Favorite TV Show: Modern Family
Cultural Background: 100% Venezuelan. Lived 11 years in Venezuela, and since then I've lived in Texas, Japan, France and Qatar (2 years in each)
Major and Academic Interests: I'm majoring in Biomedical Engineering, I'm particularly interested in the medical devices and pharmaceutical aspects of Biomedical Engineering. I'm really involved in the BME research here at UVA.
Career Aspirations: At the moment I'm considering getting a pHD in Biomedical Engineering after I graduate and later on work in the Biomedical Engineering industry.
UVA Involvement and activities: Apart from PMP I'm involved in the CIO TCKs at UVA (I'm VP), the Pakistani Student League and in the Harry Potter Alliance chapter here at UVA (UVAurors) . I also spend a lot of time working at the Microvasculature Remodeling lab at the BME department.
Tip to First-Year Self: SAME AS LAST YEAR'S
Favorite TV Show: I like many many TV Shows but I would have to say my favorite is Game of Thrones!!!! I read the books and now I'm watching the show and I absolutely love it! (I highly recommend reading the books first!)
Cultural Background: I was born and I live in Tampa, Florida but my entire family is from Puerto Rico.
Major and Academic Interests: I currently want to major in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry. Chemistry has always been one of my favorite subjects and I am really excited to learn more about this fascinating subject.
Career Aspirations: My dream is to attend medical school and become a doctor like my dad and my grandfather. Right now I am not entirely sure what kind of doctor I would like to be but I am really leaning towards either being an oncologist, infectious disease specialist, or a pediatrician.
UVA Involvement and activities: Along with being a PMP mentor, I am also heavily involved with Global Medical Dental Brigades. Last spring I went to Honduras with group on a medical mission trip and I had an amazing experience. I am also involved with the Virginian Ambassadors having volunteered for Days on the Lawn and Hoos in the office. Last year I worked at UVA Health System as an infection control auditor where I conducted hand hygiene audits and reported back the findings and this year I am going to work in Professor James Lander's research lab.
Tip to First-Year Self: The main advice I have is to never waste any time ! Make sure you get your work done on time and try to avoid doing your work at the last minute. I know I had problems with that last year and that caused me to have many sleepless nights !
Favorite TV Show: I have always been a HUGE TV fan. Currently my favorite show is Breaking Bad. I love that show so much and it actually made me love chemistry. My other favorite TV shows are The Wire, Game of Thrones, Weeds, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and Spartacus.
Cultural Background: From Scottsville VA, and Nicaraguan decent
Major and Academic Interests: Spanish Major
Career Aspirations: Hoping to transfer to a Nursing Program after graduation.
UVA Involvement and activities: PMP, Day in the Life, AVID and ESL tutor.
Tip to First-Year Self: Get to know your professors, they are here to help!
Favorite TV Show: REVENGE, and the Walking Dead.
Cultural Background: 100% Mexican
Major and Academic Interests: As of now, I am planning to major in biomedical engineering, but that may change into a major in mechanical engineering plus a minor in biomedical engineering.
Career Aspirations: I hope to some day work for a company that allows me to do a lot of traveling and overall makes me happy! I specifically want to work with medical machines to make an real impact in the medial world without having to become a doctor. However, after a few years of working, I want to to go back to school and pursue a master's degree.
UVA Involvement and activities: I am sister of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated and I'm currently the Co-Community Service Chair for Quest Scholars at UVA.
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't be afraid to get involved. Everyone at UVA is welcoming and friendly! Focus on your classes, but it's also important to have a little fun every once in a while!
Favorite TV Show: Currently, Modern Family and New Girl
Cultural Background: I am half Chilean (father's side) but have live most of my life in the United States, mainly in Virginia.
Major and Academic Interests: Undeclared but currently planning on majoring in Biology (but I'm not pre-med!)
Career Aspirations: Currently I'm planning to become a Marine Biologist and work at a research organization. However, I'd also love to work in intelligence for the federal government.
UVA Involvement and activities: In addition to PMP, I am Vice Present of Service of Circle K International at UVa, a community service and leadership organization. I also play various intramural sports throughout the year with the Environmental Science Organization.
I enjoy SCUBA diving, running, and traveling!
Tip to First-Year Self: Be proactive! Don't be afraid to reach out to people and get help from the university's resources. Get involved in clubs and organizations and explore UVa and Charlottesville!
Favorite TV Show: Homeland and Teen Mom
Cultural Background: I grew up in Amissville, Virginia, but my mother and father are from Bucaramanga, Colombia, and Taipei, Taiwan, respectively. I consider myself a Chinolombian. (:
Major and Academic Interests: Linguistics and East Asian Studies
Career Aspirations: I would love to become an interpreter, an ESL teacher, some kind of important expert on China...or someone who gets paid to travel all over the world and learn foreign languages!
UVA Involvement and activities: Peer Mentoring Program, Peer Advising Family Network, Crafting for Conservation, VISAS (Volunteers with International Students and Scholars), UVA Catering, Chinese Bilingual Faculty Program
Tip to First-Year Self: Join Outdoors Club earlier, go to more concerts/shows, take PE classes!!
Favorite TV Show: The Office/ How I Met Your Mother
Year: 4th year
Cultural Background: I am from Ponce, Puerto Rico
Academics: I am a Foreign Affairs major and a Global Sustainability minor. I plan to eventually attend law school
UVa Involvement: I am involved with Towards a Better Latin America (TBLA) and UVa Sustainability. I am also a Student Sustainability Employer and I work with the UVA recycling facility
Tip to first year self: Allocate your time wisely. Be organized but don't stop meeting people and getting "out of your bubble" and comfort zone"
Favorite TV Show: Currently: Big Bang Theory
All time favorite: Friends
Micaela Pilar Ramirez
Cultural Background: I am from all over the world! I have been living overseas my entire life in places like Bolivia, Turkey, Portugal, and Belgium. My mother works for the U.S. State Department so we move every two to three years. My father is from southern Spain so I grew up speaking both Spanish and English with my parents. My family currently lives in Madrid, Spain, so on holidays I go back home to visit them there.
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently finishing up my B.S. in Biology.
Career Aspirations: I want to become a veterinarian and work with wildlife.
UVA Involvement and activities: Along with being in PMP, I am also in ReMix, UVAs one and only Hip-Hop and R&B Acapella group. I am also working once to twice a week at a vet clinic down on Hydraulic Rd, and I am also part of Phi Sigma Pi, UVAs co-ed honor fraternity.
Tip to First-Year Self: Join organizations your first semester because that is how you will meet people, get the chance to really talk to them, and make some of your best friends.
Favorite TV Show: Modern Family!
Cultural Background: Born and raised in Dallas, TX. My paternal grandparents are from Spain.
Major and Academic Interests: Biomedical Engineering
Career Aspirations: I hope to combine my interests in adventure and medicine to either become a wilderness surgeon or naval flight surgeon.
UVA Involvement and activities: My activities include Phi Delta Theta, UVa Medlife, and UVa Club Lacrosse. UVa Medlife is a chapter of a large organization, Medlife, which sends students on medical mission trips to locations in central and south america. Our purpose at UVa consists of mainly recruiting new students to go on these trips as well as fundraising.
Tip to First-Year Self: Be open to making new friends as opposed to constantly wishing you were back at school with your friends from high school.
Favorite TV Show: Arrested Development
Cultural Background: Ecuador
Major and Academic Interests: Double major in Anthropology and Political and Social Thought. I am mostly interested in Amerindian Cultures (Latin American Amazon) as well as in Latin American Socio-Political dynamics and Indigenous identity.
Career Aspirations: I would love to be a ninja/professional soccer player but it does not look close to happening. The one thing I know for sure, however, is that I do not know a "career" that I will do for the rest of my life (It is not worth knowing something so big, I think--it becomes a limit). On the other hand, for the closer future I am aspiring something along the lines of journalism or staying in Academia for Anthropology.
UVA Involvement and activities: I have been a member of TBLA (Towards a Better Latin America) since my first year and I am currently the Event Coordinator. I was a member of VAS (Virginia Anthropology Society) until last year. I play soccer in and outside the University
Tip to First-Year Self: Don't be shy and try to balance things out, there will be TOO much going on (socially, with school, emotionally, etc). Remember that even though it might appear as if you are sometimes "missing out" you are not. Why? Because if you value everything that you do any other thing cannot be better (except sitting in your room-don't do that). That said, if it feels strange at the beginning .... Embrace it cause it is a collective sense of vulnerability that gets you your good friends in First Year.
Favorite TV Show: Californication -------- BOOMSHAKALAKA!
You are welcome to let us know if you prefer to be matched to a specific familia above. If this is the case, please email your preference to Roberto Rada from the Executive Board and we will try our best to honor your request.
We look forward to getting to know you in the fall!
PMP executive board and Dean of Students Office