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college readiness Mentors: 

2019 

College Readiness Mentors are successful University of Texas at Austin students in the College of Natural Sciences who can help you!  

Please feel free to contact your College Readiness Mentor with any questions that you may have.  They can help you to prepare for your meeting with your advisor at orientation, discuss your First Year Interest Groups community, and offer so much more.  

They are available to answer questions about their experiences at UT, registering for orientation, what to expect at orientation, and can provide resources to point you in the right direction towards successfully onboarding to your new college life.  

 


 

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ADDISON SCALES: COLLEGE READINESS MENTOR 

Mentor for students with the last names from A-Cap.

CNSmentor.addison@austin.utexas.edu

Addison is a Sophmore Nutrition major, pursuing pre-med.

Hometown: Amarillo, TX

Favorite class at UT and why: My favorite class so far has been Sociology - Health and Society. The class broadened my perspective on health by discussing the importance of social inequality and social determinants of health. After taking the class I felt like I had been introduced to the bigger picture of health and how health inequality can be mitigated, and it inspired me to pursue a certificate in public health. 

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: One thing I wish I would have known is not to listen to people when they say certain classes are impossible. The best advice I’ve heard is that  looking at classes and experiences you will encounter later on seem daunting because you are not prepared for them at the present moment. As each semester and year goes by, your standard for yourself raises slightly in response to classes becoming more demanding and challenging.If you’re willing to work hard and utilize your resources, growth and learning is possible in any class and experience. Mentality matters, so if you tell yourself anything is possible, it will be. 

Student Organizations involved in: Texas Royals Spirit Group, Women in Natural Sciences, University of Texas Service Scholars, Kappa Rho Pre-Medical Honor Society, Generation United Nations Service Organization, Freshman Research Initiative

 

 


 

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 DESIREE KIBBEE: COLLEGE READINESS MENTOR

Mentor for students with the last names from Car-D.

CNSmentor.desiree@austin.utexas.edu

Desiree is a Sophmore Biology major, pursuing pre-med.

Hometown: Joshua, TX

Favorite class at UT and why: Introductory Biology because I learned so much and it really laid the foundation for so many of the biology and science related courses I’ve taken at UT.

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: Time management, you save so much stress during exam times if you study consistently and start assignments early. 

Student Organizations involved in: Longhorn Dance Company

 

 


 

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FELICIA ROSIJI: COLLEGE READINESS MENTOR

Mentor for students with the last names from E-HAQ.

cnsmentor.felicia@austin.utexas.edu

Felicia is a Senior Human Development major, pursuing pre-med.

Hometown:  Arlington, Texas (DFW area)

Favorite class at UT and why:  Family Relationships with Marci Gleason. I enjoyed this class because it was the first time I had the opportunity to learn about individuals and families from a social science perspective. This class helped me answer a lot of previous questions that I had about how relationships can affect an individual’s health, development, and life trajectory.  

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman:  wish I would’ve known about pre-professional school programs such as JAMP and SHPEP. I would also like to have known about different certificate options such as the Bridging Disciplines Program Certificate.

Student Organizations involved in: Black Health Professions Organization, Texas MEDLIFE, African Student Organization, Haven Student Fellowship 

 

  


 

 

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YUNJIE "JESSIE" XIAO: COLLEGE READINESS MENTOR

Mentor for students with the last names from Har-Kil.

CNSmentor.Jessie@austin.utexas.edu

Jessie is a Freshman Biology major, pursuing pre-med.

Hometown:  Katy, TX

Favorite class at UT and why: Classical Mythology because I get to hear some crazy myth stories. 

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: Study hard but also enjoy your freshman year! 

Student Organizations involved in: Texas HOSA, American Society of Microbiology

 

 


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Juliette Licon: COLLEGE READINESS MENTOR 

Mentor for students with the last names from Kim-McF.

CNSmentor.juliette@austin.utexas.edu

Juliette is a Senior Biology major, pursuing pre-med.

Hometown:  From San Antonio (Va Spurs Va)

Favorite class at UT and why: Principles of animal behavior was my favorite because of my extremely animated and witty professor, Dr. Cummings, and that I got to learn why animals (including humans) do things that seem to be weird. Every behavior has some sort of reason behind it! 

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: Make time to do things that are actually for your own enjoyment (even if you don't think it's going to be the biggest resume booster). There's always going to be another test or homework assignment, but that doesn't mean you should stop living your life or pursuing hobbies and bringing a little light into your life. 

Student Organizations involved in: I was in Biology Scholars Program, and now I'm in Texas Bluebonnets, a spirit group! I spend the rest of my time baking, playing intramural soccer, tutoring STEM classes, and conducting research for the children's research center in the psychology department. 


 

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KSENIA VLASSOVA: SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR & COLLEGE READINESS MENTOR

Mentor for students with the last names from McG-Pal.

CNSmentor.Ksenia@austin.utexas.edu 

Ksenia is a Senior Biochemistry major, pursuing pre-med.

Hometown:  I was born in Novosibirsk, Russia, but I have lived in Austin for most of my life.

Favorite class at UT and why: My favorite class at UT was Foundations of Biochemistry. I really enjoyed my professor, Dr. Hoffman. He was always to full of energy in the morning, and made learning the material very easy! He always has a smile on his face, answers all of your questions, and is super passionate about biochemistry.

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: One thing I wish I would have known was to get involved in as many things as I wanted to early on. Freshman year is your easiest (class wise), so it is really your time to explore Austin, join various organizations, and meet many new people!  

Student Organizations involved in:  I am a part of Longhorn EMS, Texas Slavic Club, and the CNS Maker Space currently. I was in Texas THON for two years, and I have been involved with FRI for 3 years. Freshman year I was a part of Women in Natural Sciences: specifically Women in Medicine. 

 

 


 

 

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NICOLETTE MOJICA: COLLEGE READINESS MENTOR

Mentor for students with the last names from Sam-Tran.

cnsmentor.nicolette@austin.utexas.edu

Nicolette is a Senior Biology major, pursuing pre-med.

Hometown:  Houston, TX

Favorite class at UT and why: Cell Biology - this class was very challenging but my professor made it fun. I had never gone so in-depth into a subject before and it helped me realize just how right my major was for me. I also came out with a deep sense of accomplishment when I finished the class!

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: If you are here, it's because you deserve to be! Being in a crowd of high-achievers is intimidating and you may start to question whether you belong here but hang in there. You are capable of so much more than you know!

Student Organizations involved in: Biology Scholars Program, Leadership and Ethics Institute, Steel Dance Company, Alpha Chi Omega (sorority)


 

 

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NICK BIRK: COLLEGE READINESS MENTOR & CONTENT TUTOR

Mentor for students with the last names from Pan-Sal.

cnsmentor.nick@austin.utexas.edu

Nick is a Senior Mathematics and Biology major.

Hometown: Austin, TX

Favorite class at UT and why: SOC302, Introduction to the Study of Society. It was a change of pace from my math and biology coursework and helped me to think more deeply about the outside forces in society that influence all of us. 

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: Stay humble, there's no shame in needing or asking for help. We all depend on others in so many ways.

Student Organizations involved in: Natural Sciences Council, UT Farm Stand

 


 

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SAMANTHA PLIEGO: ORIENTATION COORDINATOR & COLLEGE READINESS MENTOR

Mentor for students with the last names from Trap-Z.

CNSmentor.sami@austin.utexas.edu 

Samantha is a Senior Human Development & Family Sciences major.

Hometown: Dalhart, TX

Favorite class at UT and why: My favorite class has been Families in Transition taught by Dr. Samantha Reisz. This class taught me that even though we all have our own unique family unit, universally we go through similar transitions. These include dating, marriage, divorce, stepfamilies, and death. Cultural aspects are discussed and I was able to open about my experience in an Hispanic family while learning about different cultures, as well. I was able to expand my knowledge about families and found my passion to be a Marriage and Family Therapist to assist the Latinx and Hispanic LGBT+ communities.

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: Be open to change. Even if that means you last minute decide your major, switch your minor four times, and drop a certification. The randomness of changes will make you fit your puzzle pieces where they are meant to go. Freshmen year is full of new experiences and if it does not match your original plan when you applied, it is okay! I found out that by changing my major and career path I was led to where I was supposed to be.

Student Organizations involved in: Admissions Ambassadors for the College of Natural Sciences, Council for Diversity Engagement, Alpha Phi Omega, Kappa Rho Pre-Medical Sorority, Biology Scholars Program 

 

 


 College readiness mentor support staff


 

 

 

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 CARLOS VALENZUELA: MENTOR COORDINATOR 

CNSmentor.Carlos@austin.utexas.edu 

Carlos is a Junior Biochemistry major, pursuing pre-med.

Hometown: Austin, TX

Favorite class at UT and why: My favorite class so far has been Biochemistry.  It combines what I love about biology with what I love with chemistry in a way that makes every lecture better than the next.

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: To chill out. Things may seem hard, and in reality they are, but the only way to get through it all with your head on straight is to relax and realize that you're gonna be fine.

Student organizations involved in: Delta Epsilon Mu, Biology Scholars Program.

 

 

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ANJALI RAMACHANDRAN: CONTENT TUTOR COORDINATOR 

Contact Anjali to request online tutoring for the UT Math Assessment!

CNSmentor.anjali@austin.utexas.edu

Anjali is a Senior Biochemistry major, pursuing pre-med.

Hometown:  Colleyville, TX (near Dallas, TX).

Favorite class at UT and why: My favorite class at UT is a Classical Mythology class (CC 303) I took with Dr. Todd Curtis. I have been fascinated with ancient history and mythology my entire life, and I loved the class so much that I decided to write my thesis on classical myth!

One thing you wish you would have known as a freshman: As a freshman, I wish I would have known to take other people's advice seriously. UT advisors and mentors have a lot of experience and wisdom, and it's a really good idea to listen to what they say.

Student Organizations involved in: I am an honors member of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. I am also a member of Plan II Pre-Medical Society and the American Chemistry Society. However, most of my extra-curricular involvement comes from participating in research on campus.