Mentor Bios

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.

2015-16 Peer Mentors

 

Familia Bio’s

Daniella’s Familia

Peer MentorAndre Sanabia
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Economics / Women, Gender & Sexuality
Hometown: Alexandria, VA
Cultural Background: Dominican
UVA Involvement and Activities: Housing and Residence Life - Senior Resident & Multicultural Greek Life
Favorite TV Show: How To Get Away With Murder, Daredevil, Arrow      
Fun Fact: I eat the kiwi skin because its full of vitamins and antioxidants!

 

 

Peer MentorAngie Aramayo
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Marketing
Hometown: Sarasota, Florida
Cultural Background: Peruvian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Honor, LSA, Orientation Leader, and Sigma Lambda Upsilon Sorority
Favorite TV Show: Law and Order             
Fun Fact: I helped my team break a Guinness World Record

 

 

Peer MentorAnthony Skaff
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Cognitive Science with a concentration in Neuroscience
Hometown: Reston, VA
Cultural Background: Lebanese
UVA Involvement and Activities: Flying Vs acapella & Cavalier Daily
Favorite TV Show: The Mentalist               
Fun Fact: I beatbox

 

 

Peer MentorAurora Lofton
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Foreign Affairs and Spanish Major BA. Accelerated Masters in Public Policy
Hometown: Bristow, VA
Cultural Background: Africain American
UVA Involvement and Activities: Sigma Lambda Upsilon/ Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc., TSPA, UVAGI, Democracy Network, BSA, LSA
Favorite TV Show: The Office                        
Fun Fact: I am 2% Chinese

 

 

Peer MentorChristopher Heishman
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Pre-Commerce School, if not Economics and Global Development Studies
Hometown: Herndon, VA
Cultural Background: Mother is from Ecuador
UVA Involvement and Activities: Various investing groups, VASST (ski club), LSN (Latino Student Network at McIntire), Outdoors club (mountain biking and hiking mainly), Student Council Appropriations Committee, and playing soccer (of course)
Favorite TV Show: Walking Dead, The Blacklist, Workaholics, Family Guy, SNL, Narcos, House of Cards, and watching anyy sport (except baseball. sorry baseball). Hyped for the Olympics this summer.   
Fun Fact: Last summer I hiked the highest peak in CO and the second highest peak on the contiguous US (Mt. Elbert)!!

 

Peer MentorClaudia Castaneda
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Foreign Affairs and Spanish Double Major
Hometown: Vienna, VA
Cultural Background: Peruvian
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am a part of Southwood Tutoring which involves tutoring elementary school kids once a week and I am on LSA Exec Board. I love listening to music (alternative, rap, jazz, R&B, latin).
Favorite TV Show: Friends            
Fun Fact: I once ate 8 sugar packs in 3 minutes.

 

 

Peer MentorDiego Suarez
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Commerce/ Economics
Hometown: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Cultural Background: Bolivian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Latino Student Alliance, PMP, IM Sports and Global Markets Group
Favorite TV Show: Friends

 

 

 

Peer MentorEmerson Aviles
Fifth Year
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently working on my Masters in Public Health. I graduated in May 2016 with my undergraduate degree in Music and Biology. I am on a pre-medicine track.
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Cultural Background: I was born in El Salvador. When I was six, I moved to Los Angeles and after a couple of years I moved to Richmond, VA and lived there ever since.
UVA Involvement and Activities: This year I will be focused on working on my Masters so doing research in public health around the community as well as working at the Charlottesville Health Department as an interpreter. That being said, I plan on looking for things to keep me busy for the year. In the past I was involved in the Cavalier Marching Band and Pep Band, Fuego Dance Team, DHW Pre-Medical Honor Society, Monroe Society, Music and Performing Arts Council, Latino Student Alliance, ULink Mentoring Program, Office of Admissions Outreach Office, and Young Americans for Freedom. If you're interested in knowing more about any of these organizations let me know and I will gladly tell you more about them! In addition to these, I enjoy practicing and making music in Old Cabell (Music Library), hanging out with friends, or playing tennis.
Favorite TV Show: I'm a big fan of #TGIT (Thank God it's Thursday) so Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder are my shows. I also enjoy watching Jane the Virgin. #TeamRogelioDeLaVega         
Fun Fact: I have been playing saxophone for eleven years. I can not ice skate.

Peer MentorIsabelle Guzman
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in Public Policy and Leadership with a minor in Global Studies in Education. I am passionate about public service and for now I see myself working for the federal government. I am interested in several areas such as immigration, education, and environmental policy.
Hometown: Alexandria, VA
Cultural Background: Bolivian American! Both my parents were born and raised in Bolivia and moved to DC (where I was born :) ). I moved to Virginia when I was four and I have visited Bolivia a lot to visit family.
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am involved in LSA in the Community Outreach Committee, Day in the Life, and Madison House's Latino and Migrant Aid Program. I also like to play IM volleyball with friends whenever I have the chance.
Favorite TV Show: I like to binge watch lots of TV shows for shorts amounts of time until I get bored. I've seen a lot of everything and like most shows. My favorite show ever is Avatar the Last Airbender.                
Fun Fact: Fun/weird fact? I can crack most joints in my body.

Peer MentorLaura Spagna
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Nursing with a minor in Global Sustainability
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Cultural Background: Venezuelan & Uruguayan
UVA Involvement and Activities: Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc., Latino Student Alliance - Cultura committee member, Sustainability Advocates, Compassionate Care Initiative
Favorite TV Show: Revenge         
Fun Fact: I've been a vegetarian for two years now, love eating/cooking healthy meals, and I'm always down to dance to some good music!

 

Peer MentorLuis Lu
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Pre comm & economics
Hometown: Lima, Peru
Cultural Background: Peruvian
UVA Involvement and Activities: PMP, Future Business Leaders of America, Enactus, Madison House, Chi Psi and Global Public Health Brigades
Favorite TV Show: Suits, How I Met Your Mother, Breaking Bad, Daredevil, Narcos, House of Cards and hopefully after this summer...Game of Thrones.             
Fun Fact: I like to write music!

 

 

Peer MentorMaddy Morales
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Engineering Science - Nanomedicine; minors in Biomedical Engineering & Materials Science Engineering
Hometown: Leonardo, New Jersey
Cultural Background: Puerto Rican and Irish
UVA Involvement and Activities: Alpha Omega Epsilon Engineering Sorority and by extension an assortment of activities and events promoting STEM. Despite the fact that I am currently filling this out at an absurd time after being in Clem all night, I'll still try to convince you that being an engineer is fun :)
Favorite TV Show: Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Friends, Gilmore Girls, Parks and Recreation -- I like a little bit of everything! Including a strange fascination with nature documentaries       
Fun Fact: I'm a lifeguard at the AFC and North Grounds Rec Center. I've been certified since I was 16 and the one time I had to perform CPR was less than two months after I got certified for the first time-- it was terrifying but made a great story for my college application essays (the man ended up being okay, thankfully!)

 

Peer MentorMaripaz Casas
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: 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.
Hometown: San Jose, Costa Rica
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in my lovely Costa Rica.  
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!    
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."

Peer MentorNatalia Heguaburo
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Major: American Government Minor: Women, Gender and Sexuality
Hometown: Boca Raton, FL
Cultural Background: Colombian and Uruguayan
UVA Involvement and Activities: Officer for Monroe Society, Focus writer for Cavalier Daily, Photography for Cavalier Daily, LSA Cultura Committee, Women Leadership Development Program, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and PMP mentee/mentor (yay)
Favorite TV Show: Hard to choose between The Office and Parks and Rec            
Fun Fact: I love animals: have had a pet goldfish for 5 years now (I think I'm a record breaker)

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Hector’s Familia

Peer MentorAna Torres
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Kinesiology, Pre-med; Interested in doing a Spanish minor & interested in research
Hometown: Fredericksburg, Va                 
Cultural Background: Puerto Rican (Pa'que to lo sepa!)
UVA Involvement and Activities: I volunteer through Madison House (the Daycare program), working out, love attending UVA sporting events, volleyball, hiking, watching movies, was in the Summer Transition Program my 1st year and I am interested in athletic training
Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, How to get Away with Murder, Awkward   
Fun Fact: currently training for a triathlon!!

 

Peer MentorAnthony Correia
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently a double major in Economics and Spanish. I have basically finished my Econ degree but still have a couple more classes for Spanish coming up.
Hometown: McLean, VA
Cultural Background: My mom is Peruvian and my dad is Portuguese so I have a pretty mixed background.
UVA Involvement and Activities: My main activity outside of PMP is the Hoo Crew Committee.  For those that don't know, we organize UVA student section events such as t-shirt and pizza giveaways, raise awareness about different sporting events, and lead the student section at basketball games!  I also really enjoy playing intramural sports with my friends (we won the basketball championship last year) and following European soccer. 
Favorite TV Show: I really like The Office and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia but I am currently working through How I Met Your Mother.       
Fun Fact: I have lived in six different countries: Colombia, Chile, Panama, Ecuador, Norway, and the US.

 

Peer MentorCarmen Garcia
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Spanish Literature and Culture
Hometown: Sterling, Virginia
Cultural Background: Spanish (Spain)/ American
UVA Involvement and Activities: Social Chair of Sigma Delta Tau, Violin, Chamber Group, and La Vida Buena Spanish Club
Favorite TV Show: Bob's Burgers and Archer (same voice actor hehe)    
Fun Fact: I have two ~music~ related tattoos because I just absolutely love music

 

 

Peer MentorCaroline Pavlak
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Aerospace Engineering
Hometown: Fredericksburg, VA
Cultural Background: Costa Rican
UVA Involvement and Activities: Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE), Outdoors Club, 3D Printing Club, Southwood Tutoring, LSA, petting puppies and taking naps.
Favorite TV Show: How to Get Away with Murder, Jane the Virgin             
Fun Fact: I'm a vegetarian.

 

 

Peer MentorDorian Ramirez
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Biology/ Pre-Med
Hometown: Bristow, VA   
Cultural Background: Guatemalan
UVA Involvement and Activities: Salsa Club
Favorite TV Show: Walking Dead                                 
Fun Fact: I'm awesome?


 

Peer MentorEnma N. Villalobos Gutierrez
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Pre-Commerce/ Economics         
Hometown: Woodbridge, Virginia           
Cultural Background: Honduran (I was born and raised in Honduras for the first 6 years of my life)
UVA Involvement and Activities: Latino Student Alliance, PMP (of course), Madison House: Pet Pals-I love dogs and cats and animals in general and volunteering there is like much needed therapy, Madison House: Westminster Child Care Center-I adore the kids and mine (1 1/2 to 2 1/2 year olds) are just the cutest, yet neediest at times, but it's all so worth it
Favorite TV Show: I love a lot of shows, my top favorites have to be Grey's Anatomy, Modern Family, Castle, Blackish, and Fresh off the Boat.
Fun Fact: I watch anime and read manga.

 

Peer MentorJohnny Membreno
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Pre-Commerce/Applied Statistics with a concentration in Econometrics and a minor in Leadership or Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Sterling, VA                           
Cultural Background: Born in Long Island, NY. Originally from San Salvador, El Salvador.
UVA Involvement and Activities: Greek Life, Latino Student Alliance, and Music
Favorite TV Show: Cutthroat Kitchen                                         
Fun Fact: I once ate 74 Chick-fil-A nuggets in 5 minutes

 

Peer MentorKaren Flores
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Foreign Affairs Major, concentration in International Relations and Spanish Minor. My passion is to one-day help improve immigration/education policies in the U.S. or in Latin American countries themselves.
Hometown: Woodbridge, Va. (NOVA)
Cultural Background: I'm Salvadorian! Both of my parents are from El Salvador, but I was born in Arlington, VA and was raised in Woodbridge, VA (All NOVA).
UVA Involvement and Activities: In addition to PMP, I'm mildly involved in the Latino Student Alliance (LSA), I tutor/mentor children through the Southwood Community Outreach program, I volunteer through Madison House with the program called "Adopt-a-Grandparent," and I also help lead a Christian organization on grounds: The Blue Ridge Campus Ministry.
Favorite TV Show: Once Upon a Time forsure and The Walking Dead. I know it's an interesting mixture of shows haha but that's me.   
Fun Fact: I've been told that I can be located anywhere by my laugh. I guess I have an extremely loud and unique laugh; I don't know if it's a good or bad thing. Haha

 

Peer MentorLina Lenis
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Politics (American Government)
Hometown: Alexandria, VA
Cultural Background: Colombian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Phi Alpha Delta (Pre-law fraternity) and Madison House (Latino and Migrant Aid)
Favorite TV Show: Last Man Standing    
Fun Fact: I love to eat Colombian food but cook Italian food!

 

 

Peer MentorMoises Mendoza
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Cultural Background: Mexican (Guadalajara)
UVA Involvement and Activities: I absolutely love to workout, dance, and play sports, specifically soccer! I am part of AKAdeMIX Hip Hop dance team and I am also on the UVA Men's Club Soccer team.
Favorite TV Show: Dragon Ball Z, Breaking Bad, Prison Break, Parks and Recreation       
Fun Fact: I will be traveling to Madrid, Barcelona and Rome this summer!

 

Peer MentorRachel Astorquiza
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Foreign Affairs and Batten MPP hopeful!
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Cultural Background: Cuban
UVA Involvement and Activities: Relay for Life, Alpha Delta Pi, and die-hard UVA athletics fan                  
Favorite TV Show: Scandal and How I Met Your Mother
Fun Fact: I have an irrational fear of orangutans

 

 

Peer MentorSam Glazer
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: I'm currently in the McIntire School of Commerce double majoring in Political Philosophy, Policy, & Law!
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Cultural Background: My grandmother grew up in Lima, Peru and my mom spent part of her childhood there, but as for me I'm a born and bred Texan from Dallas!
UVA Involvement and Activities: Besides being a PMP mentor, I'm Co-President of the Business Ethics Society, VP of the Jewish Education Initiative, Program Director of Madison Houses' Daycare program and very involved in Alpha Chi Omega! I'm also Fourth Grade Sunday School Teacher at Congregation Beth Israel.
Favorite TV Show: NCIS and Grey's Anatomy!     
Fun Fact: I've gone Dog Sledding!

 

Peer MentorSebastian Lerner
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in computer science in the school of engineering and applied sciences.
Hometown: Oak Hill, VA              
Cultural Background: My parents are from Colombia, but I was born in Fairfax, VA and have lived in NoVa my entire life.  I still have a lot of family back in Colombia and I love going back whenever I can to see them.
UVA Involvement and Activities: Sebastian Lerner Basketball League, Intramural Sports Supervisor, Intro to CS Teaching Assistant
Favorite TV Show: New Girl         
Fun Fact: I have a twin brother!

 

Peer MentorYasselly Sanchez
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Mechanical Engineering with a focus in biomechanics
Hometown: Martinsville, VA (No, it's not called SOVA)
Cultural Background: 100% Salvadorian American!
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am currently involved in UVA's Latin Dance Group Fuego, the University Achievement Award Scholars program, and the Latino Student Alliance! I am also doing motion biomechanics research at the KLUGE Children's Rehabilatation Center! In my spare time, I love to hang out with my friends and have an amazing time! I love to laugh, and live to love!
Favorite TV Show: Well, when I actually have time to watch TV, haha, I like to watch House of Cards, Scandal, Arrow, Grey's Anatomy, Jane the Virgin, and Royal Pains. Not a short list, but hey, hoos counting!                  
Fun Fact: This past year I saw Aventura in concert in NYC!

 

Peer MentorZack Ackerman
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: I'm a Commerce major, with concentrations in Accounting and Marketing. I'm hoping to combine my academic interests with my passion for music and movies in a full-time job.
Hometown: Ashburn, VA
Cultural Background: Chilean and Peruvian
UVA Involvement and Activities: I'm on the University Programs Council's Concerts Committee. We plan music-related events throughout the year, including open mic nights, discussions with music critics, and actual concerts for the student body. It's been an awesome way for me to get involved with the music scene at UVA, and even get the chance to meet some bands and see what goes into the planning and set up of a concert.
I'm also Treasurer of Comm Council, the representative body of the Commerce School. I create the budget for the upcoming school year and manage all the expenses for the events we put on. I also get to be a part of planning events that I truly enjoy, like bar nights, sports competitions, and service events.
Favorite TV Show: The Leftovers                
Fun Fact: I have family on four continents.

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Kevin’s Familia

Peer MentorAlejandro Vargas
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Civil Engineering with a minor in Engineering Business
Hometown: Naples, FL
Cultural Background: Born and raised in the magnificent city of Bogota, Colombia.
UVA Involvement and Activities: Other than being a mentor at PMP, I am also a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Club Tennis, and Phi Sigma Kappa. On my free time I like to watch Netflix, work out, or kick some major gluteus in FIFA.
Favorite TV Show: That '70s Show, Game of Thrones, Friends, How I Met Your Mother. 
Fun Fact: I was once chased by llamas at my school in Colombia

 

Peer MentorAlexa Gracias
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Pre-medicine, possible major in neuroscience
Hometown: Purcellville, VA
Cultural Background: El Salvadorian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Adopt-A-Grandparent, miscellaneous volunteer opportunities, Medlife, Intramural Soccer, Running, hiking, Crocheting, Playing the violin
Favorite TV Show: Parks and Rec, Gossip Girl, and Grey's Anatomy          
Fun Fact: I trained my dog to help me collect my socks when I'm about to do laundry because I always misplace them. Or maybe she just likes playing with my socks.

 

Peer MentorAnthony Campos
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Aerospace Engineering with Physics Minor
Hometown: Warrenton, VA        
Cultural Background: El Salvador
UVA Involvement and Activities: Secretary At SHPE, Hoos Flying
Favorite TV Show: Prison Break, Dexter, How I Met Your Mother, Breaking Bad, Death Note, How to Get Away With Murder      
Fun Fact: I have a passion for Poetry, Pizza, and Video Games (lol no alliteration)

 

 

Peer Mentor Emily Camejo
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Initially I studied architecture, but during my second-year I realized I had more of an aesthetic and cultural appreciation for the history of architecture rather than an actual desire to study the science of building structure. As my work became completely computer based, I began to miss creating art, which has always been my passion. Now I am a studio art major with a minor in architecture. I am so happy I made the switch because now I enjoy expressing myself in what I love and do best: creating meaningful stories through drawing, painting, mixed media and photography.
Hometown: I was born and raised by my parents and older sister in sunny Miami, Florida my entire life! All of my family is in Miami too, and I am so lucky to have had my primos around when growing up, especially on Noche Buena when it is acceptable to eat too much pan Cubano, laugh too loudly and dance too crazy with your loved ones.
Cultural Background: I am Spanish American. Both sides of my family are Spanish from Spain, so my roots are from Spain, but culturally I am also Cuban because my grandparents were born in Cuba and lived there for some time before coming to the States. Growing up in Miami (melting pot of Latin America), I was one of many Spanish families in a city where most everyone is fluent in Spanish, so coming to Virginia was a huge and interesting cultural transition. It has made me even more proud of my heritage and happy to share my love for Spanish food and music with my friends at UVa!
UVA Involvement and Activities: Aside from being a PMP mentor, I am a volunteer at the LGBTQ center and a member of photography club. Outside of class, I love running around Grounds (it’s so scenic), dancing Zumba at the gym for fun and eating good food on the Corner and Downtown! My favorite restaurant on the Corner has to be the Virginian- I am down for their amazing mac and cheese any day.
Favorite TV Show: I absolutely love Gilmore Girls! You know it's good when you can watch the same episodes over and over and never get tired of them.        
Fun Fact: I am only 5'3" in height, but I am the tallest woman in my family!:)

Peer MentorEver Hernandez
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Neuroscience, Pre-Med, Music (minor)
Hometown: Arlington, VA
Cultural Background: El Salvadorian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Playing guitar, basketball, and working out. Global Medical Training and volunteering.
Favorite TV Show: Prison Break                  
Fun Fact: Juggling a soccer ball and playing the guitar at the same time.

 

 

Peer MentorFrances Morales
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Biomedical Engineering & Pre-Med
Hometown: Stafford, VA
Cultural Background: Mexican and African American
UVA Involvement and Activities: Club XC & Track, Engineering Student Council Vice President
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad,  Love & Hip Hop NYC
Fun Fact: I hold the Guinness world record for best underwater juggler and I am Beyoncés cousin

 

Peer MentorHannah Melissa Borja
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Officially undeclared, but looking to practice civil rights law for my career.
Hometown: Bealeton, Virginia
Cultural Background: Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian
UVA Involvement and Activities: I volunteer in the LGBTQ Center, serve as a Safe Space Ally, host Green Dot trainings as a Facilitator, serve as a Classroom Consultant in VISAS (a program that helps international TAs learn English), and write for the Minority Rights Coalition's "Our Issues, Our Voices" column in the Cavalier Daily.
Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother. I have seen every episode in order.                  
Fun Fact: I had a full-on Brooklyn accent until I entered school, without ever living in Brooklyn. My mom and I are certain that I just mimicked her accent when I was learning English. If I am speaking really fast or I say certain words, it still comes out of nowhere.

 

Peer MentorJoana Morais
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Economics and Commerce
Hometown: Bealeton, Virginia
Cultural Background: Portuguese
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am currently a member of three main Hispanic/Latino organizations at UVA; the Latino Student Alliance, the Latino Student Network at McIntire, and the Hispanic/Latino Peer Mentoring Program. In addition, I am the Vice President of the Human-Animal Support Services Club at UVA. Every week, I also travel to the Southwood Mobile Park for an hour and mentor young children.
Favorite TV Show: I am definitely a Netflix addict, but out of the many many shows I have binge watched Grey's Anatomy has to be one of my favorites.            
Fun Fact: I laugh at my own jokes.

 

Peer MentorJosh Gordon
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Sociology, Pre dental
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Cultural Background: White, Jewish
UVA Involvement and Activities: ULink, Greek life, PMP, Hillel
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad, That 70's Show, NOT Game of Thrones                 
Fun Fact: I love lebron

 

 

Peer MentorKevin Argueta
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Politics- Foreign Affairs
Hometown: Reston, Virginia
Cultural Background: Salvadorean
UVA Involvement and Activities: XA-christian fellowship, LSA-Latino Student Alliance, SSA- Slavic Student Association
Favorite TV Show: IDK   
Fun Fact: I'm a certified Emergency Medical Technician (State/National)

 

 

Peer MentorMaria Gude
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Mathematics
Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ
Cultural Background: Spanish, Chinese
UVA Involvement and Activities: PMP, HASS, CSA
Favorite TV Show: The Originals, Arrow, Flash, Game of Thrones, Reign, The 100, Suits 
Fun Fact: I'm afraid of heights but I love everything involving heights like roller coasters and plane rides.

 

Peer MentorNick Bruno
year
Major and Academic Interests:
Hometown:
Cultural Background:
UVA Involvement and Activities:
Favorite TV Show:            
Fun Fact:

 

 

Peer MentorNikhil Gupta
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Major: Economics
Hometown: South Riding, VA
Cultural Background: Place of Birth:  Virginia & Cultural Heritage:  Italian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Greek Life & I enjoy hanging out with friends and playing Fifa.
Favorite TV Show: Archer, Trailer Park Boys, The Office, Friday Night Lights, Criminal Minds       
Fun Fact: I have lived in Virginia my entire life.

 

 

Peer MentorSarah Angel
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Double Major in Spanish and Economics
Hometown: Hampton, VA
Cultural Background: I have almost an entirely European ancestry - I am half Italian and strongly identify with Italian family and cultural values, which has allowed me, through learning Spanish and spending time in a Spanish-speaking country, to develop a deep love and appreciation for Hispanic/Latino culture. I am still learning so much all the time, but
UVA Involvement and Activities: In general, I devote my time to people - I love learning stories, hopes, and things that make people happy. I've tried to find that in my involvement at UVA - I am heavily involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and will be serving as the upcoming year's women's small group coordinator. I'm passionate about volunteering (ESL tutor to O-Hill employees who are from refugee countries through VISAS and weekly volunteer at the Haven homeless shelter downtown) as well as the pursuit of healing and expression through dance (much of my free time is spent dancing on my own and with the University Dance Club). Other than that, I find that journaling, going on walks, cooking for friends and family, and writing haikus bring me the most joy.
Favorite TV Show: To be quite honest, I don't remember the last time I watched TV... when I do, however, I tend to enjoy documentaries about traveling, cooking, and economic trends most interesting (I'm a nerd, I know).        
Fun Fact: My real backup plan is to run away and join the circus... I trained as a gymnast and aerialist for my whole life and would love to audition for Cirque du Soleil in the future!

Peer MentorTyler Miller-Jones
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Undecided; However, I will be applying to the Global Studies Department at the end of my second year...So I guess you could say I am a Global Studies with a minor in Global Public Health hopeful!
Hometown: Gainesville, FL and Pedro, Cayman Islands
Cultural Background: Soy nicaragüense! My mother is from Nicaragua and my father is from Trinidad and Tobago. I was born in Florida but moved to the Cayman Islands for four years soon after I was born. After those four years I moved back to Florida and I have been there ever since... Well until college!

UVA Involvement and Activities: I am involved in PMP, as both a mentee, and now a mentor, I am a forward/winger for the UVA Club Soccer Team, a brother in Beta Theta Pi, a member of Latino Student Alliance (LSA), and I am also a Resident Advisor (RA) in the wonderful Watson- Webb dorm! In my free time I enjoy consuming ridiculous amounts of plátanos maduros/lechón asado/ bacalao (which ever my parents send me),  and playing Fifa!
Favorite TV Show: I am absolutely obsessed with the following television programmes: Narcos, Suits, How I met Your Mother, House of Cards, Graceland, and NCIS (When Ziva David was there).          
Fun Fact: I love Bachata and Reggaeton almost as much as I love West Indian & Nicaraguan food! I am also a diehard Arsenal fan!

Peer MentorVictoria Stagnaro
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Biomedical Engineering - I'll probably be working in a lab this year!
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
Cultural Background: I was born in Argentina, and most of my family still lives there.
UVA Involvement and Activities: I'm very active in PMP! We help 1st years become adjusted to life at UVa and become their families away from home. I'm in LSA (Latino Student Alliance) too. I'm rejoining Kid's Acting Out, where we go to an elementary school once a week and play drama games with kids to teach them about public speaking. The things they come up with are hilarious and we get to act like 9 year olds, so it's everything I've ever wanted. I really like food, and I LOVE DOGS. Like when I see a dog outside I kinda freak out. Anyways, I also play videogames, and I have a special place in my heart for Zelda. I played the viola in an orchestra all through middle school and high school, so I also go to UVA music concerts whenever I can.
Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones, Steven Universe, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Avatar the Last Airbender   
Fun Fact: I am a black belt in Tae-kwon-do! I practiced for 5 years when I was in middle school and high school, so I could probably kick your butt. Just sayin'

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Serena’s Familia

Peer MentorAlejandra Gutierrez
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Psychology and Biology
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
Cultural Background: Ecuadorian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Latino Student Alliance, Madison House Medical Services Volunteer, Research Assistant
Favorite TV Show: Friends            
Fun Fact: l love going to concerts!

 

 

Peer MentorAmelia Garcia
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Latin American Studies and Global Culture & Commerce, Portuguese minor
Hometown: Miami, FL
Cultural Background: Cuban
UVA Involvement and Activities: LSA, University Dance Club (UDC)
Favorite TV Show: Jane the Virgin             
Fun Fact: I collect shot glasses from around the world! (since I was four)

 

 

Peer MentorAndrea Villena-Garay
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Latin American Studies/ Spanish
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Cultural Background: Peruvian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Social Chair for the LSA Executive Board, Member of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority Inc., Member of VSA, OYFA, ISA, LSA.
Favorite TV Show: Friends, Parks and Recs, Jane the Virgin         
Fun Fact: My senior year I received three different scholarships for basketball, volleyball, and tennis but I ended up going to the University of Virginia.

 

 

Peer MentorCatherine Toro
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Psychology and African American Studies
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Cultural Background: Puerto Rican, Ethiopian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Latino Student Alliance, DREAMers on Grounds, Student Hip Hop Organization, My hobbies are eating food, looking at food, thinking about food, and drinking coffee
Favorite TV Show: FRIENDS, Jane the Virgin, House of Cards        
Fun Fact: Usually my ethnicity is my fun fact... I have a very strong relationship with coffee <3

 

 

Peer MentorClaudia Bonilla
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Government and Spanish Literature
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia
Cultural Background: Salvadorean
UVA Involvement and Activities: Latino Student Alliance, Virginia Homecomings, University Democrats
Favorite TV Show: Jane the Virgin, Gilmore Girls, Reign                  
Fun Fact: I have a dog named Chispas

 

 

Peer MentorEddie Castillo
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Sociology & Spanish
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Cultural Background: Latino-Ecuadorian & Salvadoran
UVA Involvement and Activities: Latino Student Alliance, Maddison House Big Siblings Program, DREAMers on Grounds, UVA Gates Millennium Scholars Organization, Multicultural Student Center Initiative. Laser tag, Bowling, Paintball, Movies, and Video games
Favorite TV Show: Arrow, The Walking Dead, Modern Family, Family Guy, South Park, How I Met Your Mother, and Grimm         
Fun Fact: I've met and talked to Wale (the rapper) before and didn't recognize him.

 

Peer MentorEmmanuel Vega
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: B.A. Computer Science and Master's of Public Policy
Hometown: Sarasota, FL
Cultural Background: Mexican/Chicano/Latino
UVA Involvement and Activities: LSA Advocacy, Student Hip-Hop Organization, Dreamers on Grounds, UVA Arts Board, Listening to Music
Favorite TV Show: Friends            
Fun Fact: I am a Second Degree Black Belt

 


Peer MentorFernando Mata Cordero
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Mechanical Engineer/ Engineering Business Minor
Hometown: San José, Costa Rica/ Reston, VA
Cultural Background: Costa Rica
UVA Involvement and Activities: My favorite people are a part of PMP as well as SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers); we are a familis to be a part of! During the week, I am involved in research in the Materials Science Department, and I volunteer at Madison House every Friday. Any other time, I like to get to the people on grounds: students, staff, and faculty. If it's not familia, it's family.
Favorite TV Show: El Chavo del Ocho, Game of Thrones, Chopped, Pablo Escobar: El Patrón del Mal, Good Eats with Alton Brown, Everyday Italian with Giada, Ace of Cakes                
Fun Fact: I am a citizen of three countries!

 

Peer MentorJonathan Diaz
Fourth Year
Major and Academic Interests: Commerce
Hometown: New York, NY
Cultural Background: Dominican
UVA Involvement and Activities: La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.
Favorite TV Show: F is for Family                
Fun Fact: I love to skateboard

 

 

Peer MentorKaty Amaya
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Pre-health/Spanish major
Hometown: Springfield, VA
Cultural Background: Salvadorian
UVA Involvement and Activities: Volunteer at westminister daycare for madison house, LSA community outreach committee, Southwood mentor
Favorite TV Show: Jane the Virgin, Sons of Anarchy and Scandal                
Fun Fact: I'm a lefty!

 

 

Peer MentorLuis John Schwedler
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Pre-Commerce
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Cultural Background: Mexican/ German
UVA Involvement and Activities: Posse Scholar Foundation, Housing and Resident Life (Resident Advisor),Latino Student Alliance, Latino Student Network
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, How I Met Your Mother, Prison Break  
Fun Fact: I can whistle really well and I enjoy building furniture

 

 

Peer MentorMona Bugaighis
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: I’m on the Pre-Med track and either majoring in Spanish or Global Studies with a concentration in Public Health (and minoring in the other).
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia!
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in NoVa, but am part Argentine and part Libyan.
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am involved with Madison House Medical Services as a current Emergency Department Patient Representative and an incoming Program Director for Outpatient Surgery. I’m also on Student Council in the Outreach Committee, on the Office of Student Admissions Committee (OSAC) Student Advisory Board, am a member of Hablemos, and a member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Society. Next year, I hope to get involved with Salsa Club and Intramural Tennis!
Favorite TV Show: I watch way too much Netflix but if I had to decide it would be either Parks and Rec, The Office, Gossip Girl or Modern Family.           
Fun Fact: I’m absolutely love Zumba and a capella!

 

Peer MentorRaquel Moya
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: I'm majoring in biomedical engineering and am specifically interested in modeling biological systems. I like thinking about the interplay between technology and life to solve health puzzles.
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Cultural Background: I'm half Hispanic and was born and bred in New Mexico!
UVA Involvement and Activities: I'm involved in Challah for Hunger, a service organization that raises money and awareness for hunger in our community. I also do research in cardiac modeling with the BME department and in synthetic biology with the iGEM team.
Favorite TV Show: Acceptable: Planet Earth or Game of Thrones, slightly less acceptable: Chopped      
Fun Fact: I love love love the mountains.

 

Peer MentorRaquel Talbott
Third Year
Major and Academic Interests: Foreign Affairs and potentially pursuing a minor in Business Spanish
Hometown: Springfield, VA
Cultural Background: My entire family is from Honduras, but unfortnately I have never lived there...
UVA Involvement and Activities: My other involvements include The Latino Student Alliance, working with the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs as an Orientation Leader, I'm a sister of Chi Omega, and a resident of La Casa Bolivar (aka The Spanish House)! My favorite activies are drinking ice coffee, eating samples at Costco, occasionally running, and taking way too many photos of my dog, Nikita and of my cat, Miso (I will most definitly and envitably show them to you, they're just so darn cute!)
Favorite TV Show: I can't narrow them down to just one: Grey's Anatomy has taken over my life but I also love Game of Thrones, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, OITNB and Always Sunny in Philadelphia.             
Fun Fact: I use to live in Taiwan for 8 years and Japan for 4! (I'm your typical TCK)

 

Peer MentorStefan H. Zachar, IV
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: Systems Engineering with an Engineering Business Minor
Hometown: Miami, FL
Cultural Background: Venezuelan
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am most involved with PMP and was looking to become more involved which is why I became a mentor. Engineering work takes up most of my time. I'm currently trying to commercialize an invention my group made in intro to engineering. Other than studying and PMP I like going out with friends or just hanging around on the lawn.
Favorite TV Show: Archer              
Fun Fact: I have made the use of Febreeze an art form. Oh and I play the drums and guitar.

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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 Michelle Sawwan 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