SDIP

CSUN Mentorship Program Team

 Our mentors represent a variety of backgrounds, from academic colleges and on-campus organizations to personal identities and experiences at CSUN. 

Find out more about our mentors below! 

Participating students are paired with a Mentor based on how they want to use the program, whether it be getting assistance on passing a class or joining a new club on campus! Our Mentors have their own unique traits and assist their students differently. Should you join the program, you will be paired with a mentor that best suits your particular needs and interests!

Michelle Alfaro


Hello Matadors! My name is Michelle Alfaro and my gender preferred pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a senior transfer-student from Ventura College, and am majoring in Psychology. I am graduating in Spring 2019, and am currently working on applications for Master’s of Social Work programs, with hopes of starting graduate school Fall 2019. Despite only being at CSUN for a short time, it was important for me to get involved on campus. Last academic school year, I was an intern for the Outreach Internship Program for the office of Student Outreach and Recruitment here at CSUN. This year, aside from being a mentor for the CSUN Mentorship Program, I am also a listener for the CSUN Helpline and an Orientation Leader for New Student Orientation. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking, traveling, and swimming in the ocean. I am passionate about mental health and suicide prevention / awareness. As a mentor, I want my mentees to experience a smooth transition from high school to college. I want all students to feel welcomed and supported on our beautiful, diverse campus. My ultimate goal is for all the students we work with to have an unforgettable experience at CSUN.

Jorge Arroyo

Hello Matadors, my name is Jorge Arroyo, I am 21 years old, my gender preferred pronouns are He/Him/ His, and I am currently a senior pursuing a bachelors in communications studies. Aside from the Mentorship program, I am part of the New Student Orientation team, the Educational Opportunity Program, and also part of greek life here at CSUN. After graduating, I hope to pursue a career that revolves around event planning and stage designing for musical events. I love listening to and recreating music, I love being outdoors, and I love helping others. I hope to help and  guide incoming students to have the best possible experience throughout their collegiate years.

Kelsey Baez

Hi y’all! My name is Kelsey Kiwa Baez, my gender preferred pronouns are she/her/hers, and I’m one of the peer mentors for this awesome program! I am a 19-year-old Hispanic Japanese American and currently a sophomore here at California State University Northridge studying Communication Studies. Throughout this past year, I quickly got involved with many other amazing organizations on our campus. I am a member of the CSUN Fraternity and Sororities, New Student Orientation, Residential Hall Associations, Associated Students: Student Leadership, Outdoor Adventures, and Productions. You can almost always find me studying at the library throughout the day or at the gym at 6:30 in the morning. I love CSUN and what makes this campus so great are all the friendly faces, opportunities, and resources that are available for all of us. “Study hard, work hard, take care of yourself, and get involved” are some words of wisdom I learned to remind myself each day as a freshman last year. My ultimate goal as a mentor is to support and help guide my mentees throughout their first year experiences and future endeavors. I want my mentees and I to have a truthful and comfortable relationship with one another. Whether we go out to a campus event together, study for hours in the library, or go on some other adventure, I will be someone that they can always count on. 

Christopher Bell

Hello all! My name is Christopher Bell, I am 20 years old, and I am a third-year Marketing major here at CSUN. Other than the CSUN Mentorship Program, I am involved in the New Student Orientation program as well as Greek Life here on campus. I love to hike, play guitar and sing, and am a huge sports fan. I am originally from Seattle, WA, so I knew no one when I was coming to college after moving to California. This mentorship program is something I wish was available during my freshman year, I believe it could have helped me out a lot. I know how hard the transition from high school to college can be, especially without a support system, so that is exactly what I am here to be. I think that my involvement experiences as well as my scholastic experience can be helpful to any student. I can’t wait to see the students in our program achieve their goals and find their community on this campus.

Dirk Braxton

What's up Matadors, my name is Dirk Braxton, I'm from New York and I'm a fifth year Electrical Engineering student. I have been in the New Student Orientation program for four years and I have worked in the Games Room on campus for two years. I was also a part of the TAKE program back in 2015. I love interacting with incoming freshman and working with them to help achieve the goals they have planned for themselves. Since I am from out of state, I have a easy time relating with people who may get home sick by showing them that CSUN can be their home away from home. Since I have been here for a long time, I happen to know a lot about what goes on here and a lot of the available resources on campus. I also love interacting and learning from people, so not only am I excited to teach my mentees, I am also excited to learn from them. I have experienced many different things in life and those experiences helped teach me a lot of different lessons. I will be here as not only a mentor but also a friend for my mentees. I am excited to help make my mentees accustomed to CSUN.

Lorenzo Gak

Hello there, my name is Lorenzo Gak. I’m a 22-year-old Latino male studying Mechanical Engineering. My preferred gender pronouns are he/him/his and I am excited to be a mentor for others here at California State University Northridge. Throughout my time at CSUN I have branched out and experienced a variety of the involvement and work opportunities campus has to offer. I started my involvement during my 2nd year with working in the University Student Union, where I worked for a few different departments as well as becoming a member of the Fraternity and Sorority community. Through the connections I made as a USU employee I learned about the New Student Orientation Program, which I have been a part of for three years now. The NSO program has given me the opportunity to perform as a Take cast member for incoming students and ultimately begin my mentoring there. I have made my home here at CSUN by becoming involved, and as a mentor, I want to help you find your community. CSUN has many great opportunities for you to experience and try new things, I’m just here to support you through the process and give my guidance. I value balance between academics, self-care, and involvement because I believe that you owe it to yourself to work hard and enjoy your time here. 

Jose Guzman

 

Hi, my name is Jose Guzman. I’m a fourth year senior here at CSUN. I am currently a Mechanical Engineering major with aspirations of becoming an Aerospace Design Engineer or joining a Biomechatronics Engineering firm. For the past two years I have volunteered for CSUN’s New Student Orientation program as an Orientation Leader. I worked to help incoming freshmen feel welcomed here on campus while also providing them with the necessary information needed to succeed academically, socially, and culturally at CSUN. As a second year Orientation Leader, I provided leadership and guidance to new Orientation Leaders so they could feel prepared to lead and guide students of their own. As a mentor for the CSUN Mentorship Program, my biggest goal is to help students feel like CSUN is a second home for them. A lot of students at CSUN feel the need to go home once their classes are finished for the day; I want to show students that there is much more to campus life than just schoolwork. I would like to show my mentees how to be involved on campus to find where they belong at CSUN. I want to be a guide and a resource for my mentees. I have been here on campus for four years, and in those four years my experiences and decisions have served as some of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I want to pass on the lessons I’ve learned to my mentees so that they can become better students and be more successful during their stay here at CSUN. Most importantly, I want to be a support system for my mentees. I am here to help my mentees succeed on campus.  I want my mentees to be able to come to me for anything, knowing that I will help them to the best of my ability. By the end of the program, I hope I can say that I helped my students achieve their goals and made their time at CSUN that much better.

Samantha Guzman

  

Hello, my name is Samantha Guzman and I am a fourth year here at CSUN majoring in Business Management with plans to graduate in spring 2019. I have been involved in the New Student Orientation program for the past three years. In this program, I have been both an Orientation Leader and a Matador Mentor. As an Orientation Leader, I helped incoming students feel welcome here at CSUN while also providing them with useful tools and information they can use to aid in their success on campus. As a Matador Mentor, I helped guide and prepare an orientation leader to be able to guide his or her own incoming students. In addition to mentor experience here at college, I was also a peer mentor in high school. As a peer mentor, I helped students be successful in their class by giving them the extra help they needed to succeed. As a mentor, I hope to provide my mentees with the help and resources they need to be successful here at CSUN. I also hope to provide him/her with what they need be it academic or personal. I will be a support system for them and will do all that I can to help them achieve their goals. Being on campus for four years now, I feel my experiences and the decisions I’ve made during my time here can assist students in many ways. At the end of the day I want my mentees to feel like CSUN is their second home and that they have the support they need to achieve their goals.

Yin Fung Khong

 

Hello, my name is Yin Fung Khong. I'm currently a senior majoring in Computer Engineering and minoring in Computer Science here at CSUN, and I am expected to graduate Fall 2017. But my journey does not stop there, I am planning to pursue a higher degree by applying to graduate school. I am hoping to earn a Master's Degree in Computer Engineering in the years to come. Through the New Student Orientation program (NSO), I have worked as an Orientation Leader. On top of my experience working as an Orientation Leader at my previous college, I find it very rewarding and invigorating to help students be as successful as they hope to be, within my assistance. I understand the responsibility that comes with being a mentor, which has directly and indirectly forced me to better prepare myself in many ways. Aside from helping students to understand what CSUN has to offer, I also hope I can develop a strong relationship with my fellow mentees. I want them to know that there’s always someone who can be there to help when they need it. I want to make CSUN a second home for them so they can eventually shine and thrive throughout their years here. With my experience on campus, in addition to my familiarity with the various resources on campus, I believe I can help my mentees achieve their personal goals, whether they are academic, social or cultural. Success can only come if you work for it, and I hope my experience can help guide my fellow mentees toward their goals. I am looking forward to meeting and working with you, and together marching toward our success. 

Kathleen McCann

Hey ya’ll! My name is Kathleen McCann, I am 21 years old, my gender pronouns are she/her/hers, and I am currently a senior going towards my bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and my option is Sport Studies. I am in two awesome programs on campus the first being the Mentorship program and the second is the New Student Orientation team. When I graduate I plan on working towards getting my master’s degree in Sport Psychology as well as becoming fluent in sign language and being an interpreter! I want to advocate for the mental health of athletes as well as help to serve an under represented part of society. I am passionate about music and I love attending country music festivals as well as line dancing and going to the gym. I look forward to helping my mentees enjoy as much about their first year of college as possible and achieve the goals we set for the year.

Isabella Rizzo

Hi! My name is Isabella Rizzo, I am 19 years old, and I am a second-year Deaf Studies major. I am super excited to be a peer mentor this year. Something unique about me is that I was a mentee and went through the program myself last year. I live in the dorms and love hanging out with my roommates at campus and housing events. I love CSUN and the welcoming environment from everybody; it has helped me to branch out, make connections, and get more involved in different aspects of campus. I hope to be someone my mentees can trust and rely on as a source for help and advice to provide them with an easier transition into college life. I think that my personal experiences with helping others and through college allow me to be a good source and example for my mentees to help find success for themselves. Ultimately, I want to help students find their place on campus to make CSUN the place where they want to be and grow.

 

Nery Rosa-Beltran

What’s good Matadors! My name is Nery Emmanuel Rosa-Beltran, I grew up in South Central but spent most of my years in Palmdale, CA before coming to CSUN. I am in my senior year here at this beloved campus double majoring in General Sociology and Religious Studies. I have been a part of the New Student Orientation program and am a TAKE 30 cast member. I am a part of the CSUN Men’s Soccer Club, CSUN Men’s Rugby Club, and Greek Life here on campus. My aspirations are to pursue education further by going into graduate school to get a master’s degree in either Business, Social Work, or Public Affairs. I am a very active person and take fitness seriously so I spend a lot of my time in the gym pursuing my short term and long term goals. CSUN is a beautiful campus to be a part of and my time here has served me with proper lived experiences that have molded me to the loving and compassionate person I am. I am eager to meet my mentees as I strive to ensure they have a strong foundation to secure a successful college career. I am not only here as a guide, but as a trusted friend, so do not hesitate to come up to me.

Ohr Saghezi

Hi all! My name is Ohr Saghezi, and I am 20 years old. My name is pronounced “Or”. I speak four languages: Hebrew, Farsi, American-Sign Language, and English. For fun and in my free time, I love attending concerts. At CSUN I am a junior majoring in Marketing. I love my major because it allows me to be creative and go into many different fields of work. I am a commuter student, but that has not stopped me from getting involved on campus. Currently I am a New Student Orientation Leader, an active member in the Greek community, and a Mentor. In my sorority, I have been able to hold leadership positions as well. I enjoy each of these involvement activities because it makes me feel more at home here at CSUN, and it has allowed me to meet so many incredible people I would not have met otherwise. I was interested in these involvement activities because I always enjoyed being involved and being an active member in my community. As a Mentor I hope share my knowledge of the campus to help you find this love of CSUN too! 

Aman Sharma

My name is Aman Sharma, I am a 20 year old senior majoring in Business Information Systems. I am involved in the New Student Orientation Program, Management Information Systems Association, and Greek Life on campus. I love to work out at the gym (not the SRC), play video games, and read books. I was born in the valley and I still live at home, so I save a lot of money by commuting to school. As an only child and first-generation college student, I know what it’s like to come into college with no idea how anything works. I think my involvement on campus, my work experience, and my personal experiences qualify me to help any student.

Jennie Skillern

Hello! My name is Jennie Skillern. I am 22 years old, and a 5th year majoring in Communication Studies. In addition to the CSUN Mentorship program, I am involved in the New Student Orientation Program, where I was a TAKE 30 cast member. I have also been involved in Greek Life, CSUN Housing, and the University Student Union. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and exploring new places. I am a first generation college student from a low-income area. I understand how difficult it can be transitioning to a college environment, which is exactly why I wanted to get involved in this program. I did not have any support from my friends and family throughout my first years at CSUN and I didn’t know how to utilize the resources on campus. I believe that if this program had existed my freshman year I would have been even more successful. I hope that my background and campus involvement will be helpful to students any student on CSUN’s campus. I look forward to working with the students in our program and helping them find their fit on our campus!

CJ Soriaso

Hello Matadors! My name is Cassandra Joie Soriaso, but everyone calls me CJ!  I am 19 years old and currently a third year here are California State University, Northridge majoring in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. Additionally, I am interested in pursuing a minor in Biology in order to fulfil my pre-medical requisites. During my time here at CSUN, I have allowed myself to be involved in multiple organizations that have shaped my qualities as a student, an individual and a colleague. One of the first programs I became a part of when I was a freshmen is Outdoor Adventures’ Camp Matador wherein I am able to closely work with incoming freshmen outside of campus before the school year starts. Similarly from then on, I quickly became a part of other programs such as New Student Orientation under the Office of Student Involvement and Development Center and University Ambassadors. I love going to music festivals exploring any types of music genres, meeting new people and getting to know different perspectives! CSUN has given me a wide range of opportunities and resources that I am able to utilize for my benefit and I wish to impart that experience with anyone that I am able to come across with. I feel that I am easily very approachable and outgoing to be around, so I am very excited and honored to be a resource and a friend to my mentees!

Aleksandra Trifonova

Hello, my name is Aleksandra Trifonova, but I go by Aleks. I am one of your twenty mentors in the CSUN Mentorship Program. I am majoring in Computer Science and am in my junior year here at California State University Northridge pursuing my career goals in the systems application development field. I am involved in several organizations on campus; New Student Orientation, CSUN Ballroom Dance Club, and am looking to get involved with a computer science organization on campus. Academics are an important part of my life and I believe that success comes with knowledge and working hard to get where you want in life can only come from you and you have to motivate yourself in order to achieve your goals. With academics comes stress and with that I believe stress relief is extremely important and one of my goals as a mentor is to help you find the balance between academics and fun. My main goal within the CSUN Mentorship program as a mentor is to provide you with new experiences on campus and help you achieve your goals whatever they may be to the best of my abilities. Also, to help you create a community and a sense of belonging on campus. I will establish day to day meetings with my mentees and making sure I’m doing everything I can to foster them through their time here at the university. I am not only here as a mentor but as a friend and support system. With that being said let’s make our marks on CSUN. 

Margarita Ylo

My name is Margarita Ylo and I am 21 years old and I am in my 4th year majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Entertainment Media Management. With this, I plan on going into the entertainment field.  My favorite movies are Remember the Titans, Tangled, the Harry Potter series, and the Star Wars franchise. I am also involved in a sorority and New Student Orientation where I was fortunate to be in this years TAKE 30 cast. In my free time, I like going to Disneyland, watching musicals, and going on foodie adventures.  I love ice cream and discovering new ice cream places. I also love to travel when I can and my favorite place to visit is New York. I am one of the undocumented students here at CSUN with DACA status. Because of this, I have had experience with difficulties transitioning into college.  I hope that with my experience, I can help students adapt to college better and help their find home here at CSUN. I look forward to meeting and mentoring you all this year!