Campus Change Mentoring Initiatives

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is committed to helping all campus change students make the most of their experience and finish their degrees strong.

To that end, the College is teaming up with the Office of the Provost to help campus change students from all majors transition to UConn Storrs. These initiatives will ensure students' academic, mental, and emotional success by focusing on mentorship, community development, and academic preparedness.

Peer Mentorship Program

The Fostering Ideal Regional Student Transitions (FIRST) Mentorship Program pairs students who are transitioning from a regional campus to Storrs with peer mentors who previously made this change.

Peer mentors come from a wide variety of majors and UConn regional campuses. Each of them has first-hand experience transitioning from the Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, or Waterbury campuses to Storrs. Mentors receive training in how to help their peers effectively and compassionately through this challenging academic and social transition.

Mentors guide current campus change students using a variety of approaches. Every spring, a one-credit course (UNIV 1820. Transition Year Experience) unites campus change students across campuses with guided modules on how to excel in Storrs. Additionally, mentors host virtual forums and Q&A sessions; offer shadow days and Storrs campus tours; and provide personalized, one-on-one mentoring interactions. Students are paired with mentors based on their academic interests.

Meet Our Peer Mentors

2024

Lead Mentors

Samantha Caster
Campus of origin: Avery Point
Major(s): psychological sciences

Edona Zhuta
Campus of origin: Waterbury
Major(s): biological sciences

Peer Mentors

Jibran Ahmed
Campus of origin: Waterbury
Major(s): cognitive science

Diamon Bakare
Campus of origin: Stamford
Major(s): molecular and cell biology

Amari Campfield
Campus of origin: Stamford
Major(s): economics

Ibrahim Daboul
Campus of origin: Stamford
Major(s): molecular and cell biology

Yvette Gato
Campus of origin: Waterbury
Major(s): speech, language, and hearing sciences

Isabelle Jean-Baptiste
Campus of origin: Stamford
Major(s): economics

Arcadia Kittelson
Campus of origin: Stamford
Major(s): analytics and Information management

Justin Li
Campus of origin: Hartford
Major(s): mathematics

Fatimah Mansour
Campus of origin: Avery Point
Major(s): biological sciences

Makhiya McBride
Campus of origin: Waterbury
Major(s): psychological sciences

Isabella Napoleon
Campus of origin: Stamford
Major(s): accounting

Julia Owusu
Campus of origin: Hartford
Major(s): sociology

Alessandra Pinto
Campus of origin: Stamford
Major(s): environmental science

Trevor Stoneman
Campus of origin: Hartford
Major(s): history

2023

Nour Al Zouabi ’23 (CLAS)
Major(s): molecular and cell biology and individualized major
Campus of origin: Stamford

Diamond Bakare ’24 (CLAS)
Major(s): molecular and cell biology
Campus of origin: Stamford

Quinn Baron ’23 (CLAS)
Major(s): psychological sciences
Campus of origin: Avery Point

Fawaz Ben Malick ’23 (CLAS)
Major(s): biological sciences
Campus of origin: Waterbury

Amari Campfield ’24 (CLAS)
Major(s): economics
Campus of origin: Stamford

Samantha Caster ’24 (CLAS)
Major(s): psychological sciences
Campus of origin: Avery Point

Solaiman Chowdhury ’24 (CLAS)
Major(s): political science and economics
Campus of origin: Avery Point

Ibrahim Daboul ’24 (CLAS)
Major(s): molecular and cell biology
Campus of origin: Stamford

Anna Drobockyi ’25 (CLAS)
Major(s): molecular and cell biology
Campus of origin: Hartford

Yvette Gato ’24 (CLAS)
Major(s): speech, language, and hearing sciences
Campus of origin: Waterbury

Hongye Huang ’23 (CLAS)
Major(s): economics
Campus of origin: Stamford

Makhiya McBride ’24 (CLAS)
Major(s): psychological sciences
Campus of origin: Waterbury

Sofia Santoemma ’23 (CLAS)
Major(s): English
Campus of origin: Avery Point

Trevor Stoneman ’24 (CLAS)
Major(s): history
Campus of origin: Hartford

Jonathan Trusz ’23 (CLAS)
Major(s): political science and communication
Campus of origin: Hartford

Edona Zhuta ’24 (CLAS)
Major(s): biological sciences
Campus of origin: Waterbury

Become a Peer Mentor

Mentors gain valuable teamwork and leadership skills by developing resources for campus change students and advocating for students’ needs.

The application period is now closed.

UNIV 1820. Transition Year Experience

UConn offers a course each spring for regional campus students to learn about the campus change experience.

This course connects upcoming campus change students with FIRST peer mentors in an interactive asynchronous environment. Students learn details about life at UConn Storrs and tips for how to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Enrolled students also have the chance to visit Storrs to experience the classes and campus firsthand.

This course was developed in partnership with the Office of First Year Programs.

Course Details

The course is open to students at the regional campuses. Students who arrived at Storrs in the spring semester are still eligible to take the course that same semester.

  • It is a one credit, asynchronous, graded online course.
  • It is offered each spring semester.
  • It begins during the seventh week of the semester and runs between weeks 7-14.

Enrollment Considerations

Please discuss with your advisor if you have the following circumstances:

  • If you are under credit limitation because of prior academic performance and you are enrolled in your maximum credits, then you cannot take this course.
  • If adding this credit changes your enrollment status from part time to full time, then there may be increases to your fee bill.

Please note: This course has no bearing on campus change status. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they are eligible for campus change and have completed the appropriate forms and deadlines.

Course Topics and Modules

Each week, the Transition Year Experience course focuses on a topic that is critical to success at Storrs. All conversations are moderated by FIRST peer mentors.

  • Week 1: What To Expect at Storrs. Students evaluate their expectations, misconceptions, fears, and hopes in going to the Storrs campus.
  • Week 2: How to Excel in Classes at Storrs. Storrs-based classes can be different than their counterparts at regional campuses. This module goes over these differences and the academic resources available to students at Storrs.
  • Week 3: Meeting New People. A community of friends is vital to a successful college experience. The FIRST peer mentors highlight opportunities to meet new friends.
  • Week 4: Getting Involved. Storrs offers countless opportunities for students across a wide range of interests. Let us help you find your niche.
  • Week 5: Food and Living. What’s the difference between residence halls? Where can you get Vegan or Kosher food? What are the pros and cons of living off-campus? We answer these and other questions about life at Storrs.
  • Week 6: Getting Around at Storrs. The Storrs campus and surrounding community is much larger than any regional campus. Being able to navigate using a car, public transportation, and walking is critical. We help you find a parking spot!
  • Week 7: Mental and Physical Health. You cannot succeed at Storrs without mental or physical health. We share how to find the resources you need to stay healthy.

Enroll in the Course

Students can enroll up to the eighth week of the semester, or first week of the course. Students are required to submit a course enrollment form for UNIV 1820. Transition Year Experience. The instructor will enroll you in the course, which takes place online between weeks 7-14 of the semester.


The course enrollment period for spring 2024 is now open. The deadline to enroll is Tuesday, March 19, 2024.
 
Enroll in the course

Resources for Campus Change Students

The Storrs campus is a large, welcoming community with resources to help you thrive during your college career. There can be a lot to navigate, so here are some of our top recommendations for where to start.
 
Resources for campus change students

Contact Us

Have questions about campus change resources and mentoring initiatives? Please email Associate Professor-in-Residence Michael Finiguerra at michael.finiguerra@uconn.edu.