Orange Alert

International Student Success Peer Mentor Program

The Advising Center of the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School of Citizenship sponsors the International Student Success Peer Mentor program to assist the incoming first-year and transfer international students at the Arts & Sciences and Maxwell with successfully transitioning to Syracuse University. The unit of International Student Success within the Advising Center matches current students with incoming students to create a supportive community.

About the Peer Mentoring Program

The Advising Center’s International Student Success Peer Mentor program aims to assist new international students to make a successful academic adjustment to Syracuse University, and increase the engagement and academic achievement of international students.

The unit of International Student Success selects peer mentors through an application and interview process based on a list of selection criteria in March. The selected peer mentors will then be paired with incoming students, approximately 10 new international students per mentor, in May or as soon as soon as the new international students make commitment to attend Syracuse University. The unit of International Student Success provides comprehensive training to the selected peer mentors before they reach out to new students. In summer, peer mentors start to contact new students online. In the fall semester, the mentorship group will start to work together and participate in a variety of activities.

This International Student Success Peer Mentor Program serves as a valuable opportunity not only to new students, but to mentors who seek to develop leadership skills and grow professionally.


To help new international students attending the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School of Citizenship successfully transit into Syracuse University


  1. Demonstrate new students how to utilize academic resources and opportunities
  2. Help new students analyze the college’s academic requirements and expectations
  3. Develop leadership skills and professionalism of peer mentors

Being a Peer Mentor

Mentor Responsibilities

It is estimated that each mentor may devote two to three hours per week to the mentoring program.

  • Meet with mentees as one group one hour per week for 13 weeks
  • Respond to mentee email/phone/text within 24 hours of receiving them
  • Attend at least one on-campus and one off-campus event with mentees as one group
  • Attend the new international student welcome event in August
  • Write two reflection journals and submit via Blackboard
  • Attend mentor training in April and monthly mentor meeting during the fall semester
  • Contact mentees starting in May for informal communication

Mentor Selection Criteria

  • Be a full-time undergraduate degree seeking student in high academic standing (rising sophomore, junior, and senior)
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.0
  • Be able to commit to a one-semester appointment (Fall 2022)
  • Excellent English verbal and written communication skills
  • Have great interpersonal and intercultural skills
  • Have ability to empower others
  • Have knowledge of campus and community
  • Meet all program time commitments

Benefits of Being a Peer Mentor

  • Receive one CAS 270 credit in Fall 2022(within 19 credits)
  • Receive an award certificate
  • Receive a graduation medallion
  • Earn 45 volunteer/community engagement hours
  • Receive recommendation to participate in A&S and Maxwell career immersion programs (enhance your application but does not guarantee a spot)
  • Have an opportunity to receive a letter of reference/recommendation for job and/or graduate program
  • Gain competences specified by Syracuse University: Communication Skills, Critical and Creative Thinking, and Ethics, Integrity, and Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
  • Develop professional skills that can be applied to future career and educational endeavors: Leadership, professionalism, collaboration, accountability, adaptability, communication, conflict management, time management, problem solving, and initiative.
  • Engage in intercultural experiences and strengthen cross-cultural communication skills
  • Contribute to internationalizing and diversifying our campus and community
  • Developing long lasting friendships with peers from all around the world


  • Selection for 2022-2023 Peer Mentors has concluded. We will start to recruit Peer Mentor again in February 2023.


Ling Gao LeBeau, Ph.D.
Associate Director of International Student Success
312 Hall of Languages

Meet the Mentors

Yuhan Zhang

Yuhan Zhang

School Year: Junior

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Shijiazhuang (Hebei Province), China

Languages: Chinese, English, Korean

I’m Yuhan, you can also call me Hanna. Welcome to Syracuse University!🍊I am very happy and honored to be your mentor, really looking forward to meeting you all! I have enjoyed my two and a half years at Syracuse University and have received a lot of help from Syracuse University. And now, my role is to help you to enjoy a good college life after coming to Syracuse University! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, I will be happy to help you!

matthew snyder

Matthew Snyder

Class: Class of 2024

Majors: Psychology and Neuroscience

Hometown: Chatham, New Jersey

Languages: English and some French

Hello, and welcome to Syracuse University! My name is Matthew Snyder, and I am a junior studying Psychology and Neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am excited to have the opportunity to assist incoming students in their transition to SU, and hope to be both a friend and a helpful resource.

alex snioch

Alex Snioch

Class of 2025

Major: Health and Exercise Science

Hometown: Central Massachusetts

Languages: English and Polish

Hello, my name is Alexandra Snioch, and I am a rising sophomore majoring in Health and Exercise Science and minoring in nutrition. I am very excited to be a peer mentor this upcoming year and to provide support and resources to new international students that will guide them in acclimating to Syracuse!"

marwa abedrabbah

Marwa Abedrabbah

Welcome to SU!

My name is Marwa Abedrabbah and I am a sophomore at Syracuse University. I am majoring in Psychology, and minoring in Biology and Chemistry. I am a firm believer in receiving the best quality education, as well as being a part of the campus community and taking advantage of all of the possibilities that come with being a student at Syracuse University. I had the distinction of serving as a peer mentor for the Fall 2021 semester and it was a really fulfilling experience. I am deeply passionate about assisting individuals and taking on leading roles; and aid in the academic advancement of international students whom I can assist with their integration to SU along with ensuring an informative and enjoyable time at Syracuse University.

jaime heath

Jaime Heath

Jaime is a triple major in Policy Studies, Political Science, and Citizenship & Civic Engagement. She is also pursuing a certificate in Cybersecurity Administration. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to attend law school and pursue criminal prosecution. Jaime is excited to be a part of the peer mentor program and share her love for SU with international students.

melina iavarone

Melina Iavarone

Rising junior, Pre-Law

Major: Psychology BS

Minor: Political Science

Hometown: Westchester, NY

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to return as a peer mentor & I can't wait to meet my amazing new mentees! I hope to work closely & creatively in helping them thrive & find a sense of home at Syracuse.


Luke Patrick Elliott

Hi! My name is Luke, and I am so excited to be a Peer Mentor this year! I am dually enrolled in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and my majors are Public Relations and Citizenship and Civic Engagement. I am a Coronat Scholar and a member of the Renée Crown Honors Program. I also am involved in Hill Communications, Slice Consulting, and the Dean's Team. I can't wait to meet you all and be a part of your transition to college life!

samantha groves

Samantha Groves

School Year: Senior

Hometown: New Hartford, NY

Majors: Psychology and Forensic Science

Minor: Human Development and Family Sciences

Hi! My name is Samantha Groves and I am a Senior studying Psychology, Forensic Science and Human Development and Family Sciences. I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone. I have been the international student before and I can understand being in these shoes. I am here to help support and be a friend to you and help you with anything I can! I wish you the best of luck and please feel free to reach out anytime!

rod rodriguez

Rod Rodriguez

School Year: Junior

Major: Economics

Minor: Mathematics

Hometown: Aiea, Hawaii

I am a nontraditional transfer student who’s projected to graduate in December of 2023. I’ve lived in 7 different states and have spent over 5 years in South Korea. I was even present in Korea when the KTX began servicing customers. I understand the complexities of living in another country and hope I can use my experiences to assist.

kate jackmin

Kate Jackmin

Class of 2023

Major: Policy Studies

Minor: Data Analytics

Hometown: Fanwood, New Jersey

Hi everyone! My name is Kate, and I will be a senior in the Fall. I study Policy Studies and Data Analytics. I am excited to be a friend to everyone in the program! I understand the importance of having a support system throughout the college transition, and will be that for you! I hope you all are thrilled to begin your journey at SU.

emily chiang

Emily Chiang

Class of 2024

Major: Film

Minor: Photography, Video, and Design

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Language: English, Mandarin & Taiwanese

Hi everyone!! Welcome to SU this big family! I’m Emily, a rising Junior majoring in Film and minoring in Photography, Video, and Design. I’m super excited about meeting all of you and as a peer mentor, I’ll try my best to help you as much as I can. Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions or help. I know college is totally different from High School, especially as an international student coming from a different country will face a lot of challenges. But what I want to say is don’t worry or panic too much about it, everything will just go with the flow, and enjoy every moment you spend in college! Can’t wait to meet y'all soon:)

shaochen sun

Shaochen Sun

School Year: 2024

Major: International Relations, Pre-Law

Home town: Langfang, China

Languages: Chinese, English, a little Spanish, and Japanese

Hi, it's lucky to see you in SU! I know it's going to be a hard battle on your first time here, but I am sure you will enjoy your journey here. If any difficulties would come to you, we will deal with it together.

isabella al-hachem

Isabella Al-Hachem

Hello! My name is Isabella Al-Hachem. I am a sophomore studying international relations and political science. I know college life and the adjustment can be daunting and overwhelming and I hope by being a peer mentor I am able to help guide you through your adjustment to SU! I am very excited to be a part of your support system and network here! College is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so I hope to help make it as memorable, comfortable, and fun as possible for you!

rihua min

Rihua Min

Class of 2023

Rising Senior

Major: Psychology & Sociology

Hometown: Shanghai, China

Languages: Mandarin and English

Hi, I am Rihua, a rising senior who pursues working in academia after graduation. It is a good opportunity for me to learn how to establish a close rapport with students. I am glad to be your mentor, giving you care and guidance to navigate the first year. Looking foward to meeting all of you!

rachel iannarelli

Rachel Iannarelli

Hi! My name is Rachel Iannarelli and I’m a rising junior majoring in Linguistic Studies and minoring in Cognitive Science. I know that transitioning to college life as a freshman comes with many challenges and questions, and I want to help make this transition a great experience and be a mentor for freshmen that need any advice or help! So excited to meet everyone and hope that you have the best time at SU!

yibing chen

Yibing Chen

School Year: Junior

Language: Chinese(Mandarin), English

Hello, everyone!!! Welcome to SU! My name is Yibing Chen, a junior in A&S. I am majoring sociology and minoring public communication. As a international student, I totally understand how difficult that a international student want to join a new collectivity (environment) in a new country. I'm so glad you can join the International Peer Mentor Program at your first year in SU. I also joined this program to be a mentee at my first year, and I feel it is very helpful for me to adapt college life! I'm looking forward to meet with you in SU, and I promise you will have a wonderful and unforgettable experience in this program!

hanying yang

Hanying Yang

School year: 2023

Hi! My name is Hanying Yang from Shanghai, China, major in Psychology and minor in Business. I am also good at and get really interested in Chemistry. I am a junior student of SU and love to make friends especially through Tarot Divination and being helpful to people in all aspects. I have been in the choirs for 10 years and is willing to teach everyone who is interested in singing. Hope to meet everyone and willing to help whoever in need!

xinyi huang

Xinyi Huang

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Class of 2025

Major: Undecided

Hometown: Suzhou, China

Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English

Hello and welcome to Syracuse University. I am very happy to be with you through your first semester. As an international student, we will face many problems, but please be sure that you have me and other peer mentors. We will help you. I am an avid moviegoer and also enjoy listening to music, such as K-pop. I hope we can study together and be friends.

ying xin tan

Ying Xin Tan

Class of 2024

Majors: Finance and Business Analytics

Hometown: Guangzhou, China

Hello! My name is Ying Xin Tan, I am a rising junior at SU majoring in Finance and Business Analytics. I am aware from my experience that it is a hard transition from high school to college, and it’s especially harder when you are from a different background. I participated in a similar mentorship program when I was a freshman, so I look forward to being able to take the support I have received and give back to the Syracuse University Community

meghan ford-titus

Meghan Ford-Titus

Class: 2024

Major: Policy Studies

Minor: French

Hometown: West Orange, New Jersey

Hello! My name is Meghan Ford-Titus, I am a sophomore at SU majoring in Policy Studies with a French minor. I am so excited to be a peer mentor and serve as a resource for international students on campus. I love Syracuse University and am so honored and thrilled to be given the opportunity to help first year international students acclimate to this campus! College may seem daunting at first, especially as one transitions from high school to college and is faced with more tasks and decisions of adulthood. However, once one settles in and truly feels at home, college can open the door to so many amazing experiences and fun times. I aspire to help first year international students find their home at Syracuse and discover the fun times that await them here on campus!

minseo kim

Minseo Kim

Class of 2025

Majors: Psychology

Hometown: San Jose, California

Languages: English, Korean

Hello! I'm Minseo Kim, and I look forward to being a mentor and helping International students! I hope my part in your journey as a SU student helps your transition to college be a bit easier.

shay kinney leonhardt

Shay Kinney Leonhardt

Hi All,

My name is Shay Kinney Leonhardt, and I am a Senior this year majoring in International Relations and minoring in Economics and Spanish. I am excited to be a peer mentor for international students this fall because I recognize the struggles one can face being a new student, especially in such an unfamiliar environment. I believe that having a support group when arriving in these new places is essential to a smooth integration into a new community, one that having something like that at Syracuse will soon show students that this place can become home.

Class of 2023

Majors: IR

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

valerie goldstein

Valerie Goldstein

Pronouns: She/her

Major: Policy Studies

Hometown: Newton Massachusetts

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm really excited to welcome new International students to Syracuse. I've found a great community here through academics and extracurriculars, so as a Peer Mentor, I'll work hard to help others find their community here too!

haitian zhou

Haitian Zhou (Martin)

Class of 2022 Fall

Languages: Chinese, English, Japenese

Born in Zaozhuang and raised in Hangzhou, China, I am a Chinese senior international student who majored in Economics and minored in Political Science, CRS (Communication and Rhetorical Studies), and Philosophy at Syracuse University.

​I have had several internship experiences in the field of business consulting and am currently working for a Chinese consulting company. In addition, I am trying to obtain a Master's in Economics after my graduation this year. I enjoy traveling and jogging during leisure time, am a big junkie of whiskey, and prefer working at night.

I am very glad to be a part of this extraordinary program, and I am more than happy to assist students in adjusting themselves to college life.

Personal Website:

mitchell mazza

Mitchell Mazza

Class of 2024

Majors: Neuroscience and Psychology

Minors: Spanish and Linguistics

Hello everyone! My name is Mitchell Mazza, I am from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and I am studying Neuroscience and Psychology on a Pre-Med Track. Some of my involvement on campus includes the Renée Crown University Honors Program, Phi Delta Epsilon Professional Premedical Fraternity, and Nu Rho Psi Neuroscience Honor Society. I am also a Patient Care Technician at St. Joseph's Hospital as well as a Summer Tour Guide for the Admissions Office and a researcher in the SU Aphasia Research Lab.

guangquian yang

Guangqian Yang

Class of 2025

Major: Economics

Hi guys! My name is Guangqian Yang and you can just call me Rollins. As an international student, I know how hard it is for freshman who come to an unfamiliar country and start a new life here. I took me a long time to get used to many things and find many useful resources. Now I have the chance to share all these with you guys, and I am very happy to help you in any way I can. I hope everyone can quickly adapt to the campus life and have a wonderful time here in Syracuse!

miguel guzman

Miguel Guzman

Hello everyone! My name is Miguel Guzman. I am from Lima, Peru, majoring in Biotechnology with a minor in Entrepreneurship. This Fall'22, I will be a Junior while a peer mentor. I did this program back in my first semester at SU (Fall'20), and I loved it because it was a super helpful tool to succeed in a difficult time when school was online. Also, it allowed me to create a good connection with my mentor, with who I still keep in touch. Outside of class, I enjoy trying new restaurants, listening to all genres of music, and watching soccer. I am happy to meet the new cohort in the Fall.

orfeas sfyrlas

Orfeas Sfyrlas

Hometown: Athens, Greece

Languages: Greek, Serbian and English.

Major: Biology

Class of '25

My name is Orfeas and I am a sophomore international student from Greece! I am majoring in Biology and pursuing a minor in Finance. As you guys know, our campus is full of clubs and organizations, and I am proud to be part of several of those, and the president of the ESA( European Student Association). Being an international student myself, I have first-hand experience of what a college transition feels like, and I would love to pass what I have learnt to you! Can't wait to meet you all! Go orange!