Campus Change Mentoring Initiatives

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

To aid this transition, the College has developed two new initiatives to help ensure academic, mental, and emotional success for CLAS campus change students. Aligned with goals from the CLAS Strategic Plan, these initiatives focus on mentorship, community development, and academic preparedness.

Peer Mentorship Program

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

Mentors guide current CLAS campus change students through a one-credit course (UNIV 1820. Transition Year Experience) and personalized, one-on-one mentoring interactions. Students are paired with mentors based on their academic and personal interests.

FIRST peer mentors come from a wide variety of majors and UConn regional campuses. Each of them have first-hand experience transitioning from the Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, or Waterbury campuses to Storrs.

Meet Our Peer Mentors


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 FIRST Peer Mentor

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

Applications and requirements to become a FIRST peer mentor become available on this page in fall to start the program in spring.

UNIV 1820. Transition Year Experience

UConn offers a new course each spring for CLAS 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 and Learning Communities.

Course Details

The course is open to first-year and sophomore students at the regional campuses who have declared a major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It is designed for regional students to take the semester before they change campuses to Storrs.

  • It is a one credit, asynchronous, 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 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 form for spring 2023 is now closed.

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 these CLAS campus change resources and mentoring initiatives? Please email Associate Professor-in-Residence Michael Finiguerra at