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Leadership Development Program

Freshman Edge Mentors

As a Freshman Edge student, you will meet continuing UCI students right away. These Freshman Edge mentors (former Freshman Edge participants) eagerly wait to welcome you to UCI. In addition to creating a meaningful and supportive program environment, they will help you transition to the UCI campus and college life, and introduce you to campus resources and the UCI social scene. A formal Leadership Development Program is offered to Freshman Edge Program alumni beginning in winter quarter as a hands-on leadership development experience. By becoming a Freshman Edge mentor, students give feedback on the past year’s program, develop program events, and work with the students during the upcoming Freshman Edge Program. Additionally, students learn leadership, commitment, responsibility, communication, and decision-making skills from hands-on planning and execution of events.

Applications for the 2018 Mentors are due on October 29th, 2017

Meet the 2017 Freshman Edge Mentors

Janani Venkateswaran Janani Venkateswaran
Lead Mentor
Psychology & Social Behavior; Drama; Class of 2018
(From Chennai, India)

Being a mentor in summer 2015, I found myself learning more about myself and my strengths. The Leadership Development Program (the training program for students mentoring summer session program participants) helped me identify my strengths and assets, while also helping me learn how to effectively use them. I got to improve my event-planning and management skills and also have positive interactions with the participants. Most of all, I loved the sense of belonging that came with being part of the group of mentors in 2015. Many of them I had met when we entered UCI as freshmen and it is truly wonderful to see that we still keep in touch with one another. I am really thankful for the staff of Summer Session, who always welcome me with the warmest smiles. No wonder they work for Summer Session, as they have such warmth exuding from them.

Naomi Carrion Naomi Carrion
Undergraduate/Undeclared; Class of 2020
(From Coachella, CA)

My name is Naomi Carrion. I am an Undergraduate /Undeclared major, but I am leaning towards mechanical engineering. I was part of the Summer Bridge (Freshman Edge) program in the summer of 2016 as a student. As a Summer Bridge student, I was able to get familiar with the campus and develop close friendships that I see myself keeping for the rest of my life, and now I will be a mentor to help future Freshman Edge students find their own path.

Suyeon Hwang Suyeon Hwang
Undergraduate/Undeclared; Class of 2020
(From Seoul, Korea)

Freshman Edge has given me one of the most unforgettable and wonderful experiences, and it was one of the best decisions. Through the program, I was able to familiarize myself with the campus and the resources UCI offered, as well as meet new friends, many of whom are my best friends. I am excited to meet and help the students joining this year!

Mingxin (Maggie) Lin Mingxin (Maggie) Lin
Pharmaceutical Science; Class of 2020
(From Xiamen, China)

My name is Maggie Lin. I participated in Freshman Edge last year. It helped me a lot. It allowed me to make new friends before school even started and also to be familiar with the campus and the area around it. It also academically prepared me for the rigorous college coursework.

Mayalen Mercado Mayalen Mercado
Biological Sciences; Class of 2019
(From San Diego, CA)

I have enjoyed being a part of Freshmen Edge. They have helped me get a feel for college and meet many new people. Therefore, when college started in the Fall I felt better prepared and felt great that I already had friends from the summer. I learned about the many resources on campus such as the Career Center and office hours. I took advantage of those resources during the Fall and they were very helpful.

Savannah Moler Savannah Moler
Undergraduate/Undeclared; Class of 2020
(From Long Beach, CA)

Hello everyone! As a previous participant of the Freshmen Edge program, I have gained a big head start coming into UCI as a freshman. Freshmen Edge was so much fun for me, as I made so many close friends in one month, and learned how to make my way around campus that I was fully prepared to jump into my first quarter with confidence. I hope to take all the knowledge I know now from my experience at UCI and share it with all of you so you can have the same advantages! As your mentor, I am here to help you transition into the anteater community with ease, and support and lead you throughout the way. Thrilled to be your mentor!

Fuchen Shi Fuchen Shi
Computer Science; Class of 2020
(From Liaoning, China)

I'm a student from China majoring in Computer Science. My life at UCI started from Freshman Edge in 2016, during which I got familiar with most of the resources at UCI. But what made it unforgettable is that I have met so many people from everywhere in the world and many of them are still my best friends even after the Summer Session ended. I became a mentor in the same program and I'll do my best to help all the incoming freshmen to feel at home at UCI!

Anna (Christi) Talonova Anna (Christi) Talonova
Business Economics; Cognitive Psychology; Class of 2019
(From Moscow, Russia)

I am an international student majoring in Psychology and Business Economics. I have been part of the Freshman Edge program for two years: once as a mentee and the other as a mentor. This experience was unforgettable and extremely valuable to me. I learned a lot about college life, met new friends, and became more confident. I would be happy to help future students to gain the similar positive experience and become acquainted with new people.

Arthur Tham Arthur Tham
Computer Science; Class of 2019
(From Fremont, CA)

Hello! My name is Arthur and I am a 2nd year Computer Science major. The Freshman Edge program gave me a support system that helped me transition into my first year of college. My house was very close and we still talk to each other today. I wanted to give back to the program so that they too can have the experience I enjoyed. On the side, I like videography and programming, and I especially love hosting game shows.

Wanying (Julie) Wang Wanying (Julie) Wang
Undergraduate/Undeclared; Class of 2020
(From Chengdu, China)

Choosing the Freshman Edge Program was one of the best decisions of my life. I was homesick when I first came to the college, but I finally overcame that feeling with the help of friendly and patient mentors. I felt I was a part of a big UCI family after spending my time with nice mentors and the Summer Session staff. I learned about a lot of valuable campus resources, and I gained precious friendships through this wonderful program. Thanks to Freshman Edge, I found a good balance between my studies and life. It gave me a smooth transition from high school to the college. I love Freshman Edge!

Yuting (Angelina) Wu Yuting (Angelina) Wu
Chemistry; Class of 2020
(From China)

When I first arrived at UCI, I had a difficult time acclimating to the new environment. So, I totally understand how it feels to be in a new environment without knowing anyone. But don't worry, this amazing program can help you become more familiar with the campus and the resources, make friends and achieve academic success. And as a 2017 mentor, I look forward to welcoming and helping you transition to the UCI campus and college life.

Shaoting (Michelle) Yu Shaoting (Michelle) Yu
Undergraduate/Undeclared; Class of 2020
(From Taiwan)

Being part of Freshman Edge last summer, I felt like I found a home far from home. As an international student, I got scared of the new environment and afraid of making new friends here at UCI. Because I participated in the Freshman Edge program, I got the chance to get familiar with UCI earlier and meet many friends here. I am glad that I was in the Freshman Edge program; it helped me feel that I belong here at UCI.

Rose Marie Zecua Rose Marie Zecua
Comparative Literature and Film; Media Studies; Class of 2018
(From Costa Mesa, CA)

My name is Rose Zecua and I’m a third year Comparative Literature and Film and Media Studies double major. Freshman Edge is one of the best memories I treasure from UCI. This program helped me to have a smooth transition from high school to college and take advantage of all the opportunities UCI has to offer. Freshman Edge has given me the tools necessary to succeed in my academic career.