Meet the Board

PMP is led by a group of dedicated and organized students who make up the program’s executive team. They are in charge of planning and running community-wide events, organizing mentor training workshops and offering support to both mentors and mentees throughout the year. They benefit from access to faculty, administrators and other professional contacts. Their work with PMP provides them with professional experience in community building, event planning, managing budgets and more.

Meet the 2015-2016 Board

Exec Bio’s

Raquel TalbottName: Raquel Talbott

Cultural background: My entire family is from Honduras but I was born in Springfield, Virginia (NOVA represent!!) and I lived in Asia for 12 years (Taiwan for 8 years and Japan for 4 years)

Major and academic interests: I’m planning on double majoring in Foreign Affairs and Global Development Studies. 

Career aspirations: As of now, I have no idea but hopefully I’ll have a career that will let me travel (:
UVa involvement and activities: I’m in LSA, Human-Animal Support Services club where I volunteer at the SPCA, I’m a participant in the Women Leadership Development Program, and an intern for ODOS for La Gala, and obviously PMP!!
Tip to first- year self: First semester can be a scary, overwhelming, exiting, and an intimidating experience. And at times you can feel lost in a sea of about twenty thousand students but don’t worry, you’ll find your way just fine taking one step at time. Take risks, chances, and every opportunity because you have nothing to loose, but everything to gain! 

Favorite TV show: Too many… I religiously watch Gilmore Girls, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Game of Thrones, and just got obsessed with One Tree Hill. I also really enjoy Key & Peele and Master Chef from time to time.
Fun Fact: I’m naturally very uncoordinated but surprisingly pretty good at corn hole…


CasasName: Maripaz Casas
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in my lovely Costa Rica.    
Career Aspirations: I have always been interested in education. When I was in high school, I had to do a lot of community service in public schools. I remember the first time I entered a classroom of a very poor school that was situated in a difficult neighborhood. I saw the necessity that the children had as well as their terrible background stories. That was when I realized how teaching is a challenge: instructors put a great deal of effort into enriching their students’ knowledge, as well as into helping them discover their unique sense of individuality and purpose. My highest aspiration became to provide counseling and education for exceptional children that find it impossible to develop in most traditional school environments. All children, no matter where they come from or the amount of abilities they have, should at least experience what education offers them to learn, enjoy, and develop. I think about the realities of developing countries such as Costa Rica, in which many children with special needs and learning disorders are relegated to their homes, making them ineligible for future success. This is why I decided to double major in Special Education and Anthropology.
UVA Involvement and Activities: Aside from PMP, I am currently involved in many Hispanic/Latino programs. I am the social chair for The Latino Student Alliance, and a member of TBLA, Towards a Better Latin America, which focuses on planning events for the outreach of the student community and also creating fundraising events. I am member of the public relations committee for the Multicultural Center Student Initiative and I am also in charge of writing the Hispanic and Latino Newsletter for the Office of the Dean of Students. I am also a Facilitator for First Year Seminar and last but not least, I am part of my Class Council Outreach Committee!      
Tip to First Year Self: Being a first year international student is not easy. The whole adaptation process is not that simple for everyone. But you know what? There are a lot of people that can help you! Don't stress out about your grades and your work. You will learn to manage it! Remember it is a process so enjoy it and step out of your comfort zone! There are so many opportunities that UVA offers. Do things you've never done before and you will learn even more about yourself. Also, don't be afraid to talk to the people around you. You never know when a good friend may come along and supports/shares your interests!
Favorite TV Show: I really have three favorite TV shows: Game of thrones, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad.  
Fun Fact: I live in Costa Rica, which is one of the best surfing countries, but I am REALLY bad at surfing. I tried for 10 min and I was done. Actually I am really clumsy you can ask my friends. I am one of those who "falls on flat surfaces."


Manuel Jose RodriguezName: Manuel Jose Rodriguez
Cultural Background: Proudly from Dominican Republic, lived there all my life.
Major and Academic Interests: I am Pre-comm, interested in majoring in Finance and minoring in Econ.
Career Aspirations: I hope to work a couple years in New York after I graduate from the Mcintire School of Commerce here at UVA, earn an MBA and then return to work in the Dominican Republic.
UVA Involvement and activities: I have been a member of the Entrepreneurship Club since Fall 2014. I am also on an Intramural soccer league team.
Tip to First-Year Self: I would say that one thing I didn’t take advantage of were office hours, meeting my TA’s and professors. Not only does that help you a lot academically like mastering topics and managing your time, but for life after college like getting a job.
Favorite TV Show: Suits baby!!
Fun Fact: I spent a summer in Normandy, France training in a tennis academy and playing tournaments. Did you know that after beating your opponent in tennis match during a tournament the norm is for you to offer him a drink! At first I was like no way I won!


Yaselly SanchezName: Yaselly Sanchez
Cultural Background: I am 100% Salvadorian and 100% American! I can identify with both because I was born and raised here in the States, but my wonderful parents were able to integrate my roots into my everyday life. I am Salvadorian. I am American. I wouldn't trade my experience for the world!
Major and academic interests: I am currently in the E-School hoping to study Biomedical Engineering on a pre-med track and possibly minor in computer science (I'm not so sure about that one haha)!
Career Aspirations: I either hope to work for a prosthetic company or go to medical school and become an orthopedic specialist. It's something about bones that really make me tick!
UVa Involvement and activities: I am an active member of the Fuego Dance team, Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers, UAA mentor program, and PMP!!!
Tip to first-year self: One, don't sign up for all those clubs, the emails never end! Two, get ahead while you can! Every chance you get to read that next chapter, DO IT! Three, even though it's important to GSD (Get Stuff Done), don't let your work restrict yourself. You can definitely go on the hiking trip and still manage to finish what needs to be done. Just remember why you are here and keep that as your main focus. 
Favorite TV show: Scandal! Arrow! The Flash! Greys Anatomy! House! I love anything that has to do with Superheroes. The Fosters and Switched at Birth are others I enjoy!
Fun Fact: Prince Charming winked at me at Disney World!!!! <3

Yaselly SanchezName: Sarah Angel
Cultural background: I am from Hampton, VA (small city near Virginia Beach) and have grown up in a relatively large Italian family.
Major and academic interests: I am doubling in Spanish and economics.
Career aspirations: My very long term goal is to live in a Spanish-speaking country and eventually do some sort of development work with the homeless population or with victims of human trafficking. Before that, however, I plan on applying to join the Peace Corps - living the problems and the solutions to modernization and social injustices would be optimal in order for me to fully devote my life to such a line of work.
UVa involvement and activities: Aside from exuberantly joining the PMP exec board, I am a small group leader in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a dancer and Publicity Chair for University Dance Club, and a member of VISAS, where I spend time teaching English to one of the O-Hill refugee employees. I am also a Hispanic/Latino community intern with ODOS and a regular volunteer at The Haven day shelter downtown.
Tip to first-year self: One crucial thing that I've learned is that people don't remember others for what they where or how they talk - they remember how someone made them feel. Cherishing each encounter and treating everyone as more than just another face in the crowd leads to a deeper sense of belonging and fulfillment.
Favorite TV show: BBC's Sherlock is the only TV show that I can really get behind. Benedict Cumberbatch, you go. You. go.
Fun Fact: I was a gymnast and circus artist for most of my life, so my (real, I kid you not) backup plan is running away and joining the circus!