Meet Your Assistant Director of First-Year Success


Daniela García Estrella


Daniela García Estrella works primarily with first-year students in the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of General Studies (CGS).

Daniela previously worked as an Admissions Counselor at the University of Miami. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Education. She earned her Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a former low-income, first-generation student, she understands how difficult it may be to navigate college and hopes to demystify the process for first-year students.

Daniela enjoys dancing, cooking, playing board games, and spending quality time with her family in her free time.

Courtney Ianiro


Courtney Ianiro works primarily with first-year students in the College of Communication, the College of Fine Arts, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, and the College of General Studies (CGS).

As an undergraduate, Courtney was a student-athlete and team captain on the Bridgewater State University softball team. Courtney has spent time in various roles within higher education and is passionate about collaboration, connection, and growth with students, faculty/staff, and campus officials. Prior to joining the undergraduate affairs team, Courtney was the Assistant Director for Student-Athlete Support Services at Boston University. Before coming to BU, Courtney was the Graduate Assistant to the Director of Athletics at Averett University.

Courtney holds a BS in Physical Education and Leadership with a minor in Psychology from Bridgewater State University, and later completed her Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership from Averett University. Courtney resides in Framingham, MA with her wife Meg and their dog Poppy.

Lucie Levine


Lucie Levine works primarily with first-year students in the Pardee School of Global Studies, the Questrom School of Business, and the College of General Studies (CGS).

Lucie comes to the First Year Success Initiative from Combined Enrollment Services at Boston University, where she worked as an Enrollment Service Advisor, focusing on enrollment, admissions, and financial aid. Lucie graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in 2015 with her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Development. She is currently working on her Master’s in Business Administration through the Questrom School of Business here at BU.

In her free time, Lucie loves cooking, baking, reading, true crime podcasts, and puzzles. She enjoys spending time outdoors and spending time with family and friends. Lucie resides in the Greater Boston area with her partner Josh and their mini Bernedoodle Arugula.

Dandan Liang


Xidan (Dandan) Liang works primarily with first-year students in the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of General Studies (CGS).

Dandan came to the United States in 2010 as a Chinese international student. Before coming to BU, Dandan worked as the program officer at the Academic Success Center in the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. During her time in Michigan Ross, she worked with incoming first-year students who are underrepresented in Ross. She provided resources, seminars, workshops, and academic support for her students, which helped their transition from high school to UofM.

Dandan received her BA in Chinese Language and Literature from Qingdao Agriculture University, M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages and M.S. in Human Development and Leadership from Murray State University. She completed 60 hours of PhD credits in Higher Education Administration at BGSU. She also received her Design Your Life Coach Certificate from the Design Lab in Stanford University.

During her free time, Dandan loves spending time with her two kitties, Bacon & Bao. She also enjoys playing Stardew Valley on Steam.

John Medina


John Manuel Medina works primarily with first-year students in the College of Arts & Sciences, Sargent College, and the College of General Studies (CGS). 

John previously worked as a Student Conduct Educator at MIT and as a high school math teacher in San Antonio, Texas. He has a B.A. in Chemistry and Romance Languages & Literatures from Bowdoin College and an Ed.M. in Educational Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a first-generation college student, John seeks to ensure all students can find a sense of belonging and thrive in their first year and beyond. 

Home for John is The Bronx and San Antonio, Texas. Aside from supporting first-year students, John enjoys cooking, eating, going to the movies, walking along the Charles, thrifting and attending concerts.

Amanda Zinck


Amanda Zinck works primarily with first-year students in the College of Engineering, the Faculty of Computing and Data Sciences, and the College of General Studies (CGS).

As an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire, Amanda studied Communication and worked in the Office of First Year Programs. This experience had a profound impact on her and inspired her professional path. She aims to use her role as an Assistant Director of First-Year Success to help students have that same profound experience while also helping them navigate the challenges that come with being a first-year student. Amanda comes to BU from Lasell University where she worked as Assistant Director of Graduate Student Services & Advising. She earned her Masters of Education in Administration of Higher Education from Suffolk University in 2020. Prior to working in higher education, Amanda had several jobs working in digital marketing and communications.

In her free time, Amanda enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, and watching reality TV.