CGS Peer Mentor Program

The CGS Peer Mentor Program is an integral part of the first-year student experience at the College of General Studies. Peer Mentors serve to support and encourage first-year student success and work closely with the CGS advisors and faculty to provide mentorship on both academic and student life matters. Through one-on-one and group activities, Peer Mentors will support first-year students as they transition to campus, CGS, and the Boston University community.

If you are interested in becoming a CGS Peer Mentor or learning more about the program, please connect with Jihyeon Choe, Assistant Director of Student Services, at jchoe1@bu.edu.

Meet Our Peer Mentors

Connect with a Peer Mentor today! Our CGS Peer Mentors are upperclassmen with lots of experience navigating campus and the city of Boston. They are excited to meet you and welcome you to Boston University. Contact a Peer Mentor if you have questions about campus life, classes, extracurricular advice, need a referral to a specific resource on campus, or just want to say “Hi!”

Peer Mentor Gilbane Office Hours: Each week CGS Peer Mentors will offer a Gilbane Office Hour to first-year students. The Gilbane Study Lounge is located in Room 130, 1st Floor at the College of General Studies (871 Commonwealth Ave).

Peer Mentor Contact Information and Gilbane Office Hours can be found below in each Peer Mentor Bio.


2023-2024 Peer Mentors

Sabrina Abselet
Team F
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
BU Major: Psychology and Art History

Gilbane Office Hour: Thursdays 3-4 pm

Email: sabselet@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Baking, film photography

BU Clubs/Organizations: Her Campus, Students for Reproductive Freedom (SRF), BU Photography Club, CGS Dean’s Host, Hillel, and Iranian Student Association

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: Educational Resource Center

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
My biggest piece of advice would be to challenge yourself and go outside your comfort zone. Be sure to try things at least once before you say no, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!


Valeria Arango
Team H
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Weston, Florida
BU Major: SAR Health Science Major, Biology Minor, pre-medical track

Gilbane Office Hour: Mondays 11 am-12 pm

Email: arangov@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Traveling, cooking (and eating), listening to music and rollerblading at the beach

BU Clubs/Organizations: MAPS- Minority Association for Pre-Medical/Health Students, CGS Deans Host, Rotary Club, Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Profession Honor Society

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: Pre-health advisor office

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
To not be afraid to talk to people more spontaneously, everyone is usually thinking the same thing and scared to make that first move. I would also tell myself to join more clubs that interest me, not just for the sake of a resume.


Kiana Arzani
Team C
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
BU Major: Business Administration

Gilbane Office Hour: Fridays 2-3 pm

Email: karzani@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Soccer, drawing, yoga, and reading

BU Clubs/Organizations:Women in Law, BU Sustainable Ocean Alliance, Diversity in Law, and Ski & Board Club

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: The Academic Advising team

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Enjoy college and have fun but remember why you are here.


Julia Brown
Team G
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: London, England
BU Major: Chemistry

Gilbane Office Hour: Mondays 4-6 pm

Email: jrhbrown@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Art, video games, and going to the gym

BU Clubs/Organizations:Vice President of Pre-Optometry Club, Former Dean’s Host

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: Newbury Center

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Don’t rush. Although it feels that you are behind everyone when you are joining in the Spring semester, it is important to know that everyone is feeling the same way. It takes time getting settled with moving to a new place, making friends, and adjusting yourself to the workplace. It can be a while until you feel like you belong, but BU offers so many resources to help adjusting to college life.


Mariana Cantu Soto
Team A
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico
BU Major: Major International Relations, Minor Advertising

Gilbane Office Hour: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-2 pm

Email: cantum@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Reading, writing, playing soccer, watching Grey’s Anatomy

BU Clubs/Organizations: CAS Deans Host, Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: CGS Writing Center, Center for Career Services

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Never feel like people are closed to meeting new people. As a junior, I can say with confidence that everyone is still trying to meet new people and make friends.


Amanda Dingman
Team B
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
BU Major: CAS Sociology and Public Health

Gilbane Office Hour: Wednesdays 1-2 pm

Email: dingmana@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Music, shopping, hair dye, and people-watching

BU Clubs/Organizations:Delta Delta Delta Sorority

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: My CAS academic advisor

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Don’t take everything so seriously! Freshman year is not permanent- take the time to build a community and find out how to support yourself in the face of academic challenges.


Caroline Dodge
Team C
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
BU Major: Public Relations & Public Health

Gilbane Office Hour: Tuesdays 3-5 pm, Fridays 2-3 pm

Email: cgdodge@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: I love to travel, explore new places in Boston, the beach, cafes, museums, outdoor activities, listen to music, and spend time with my friends and family.

BU Clubs/Organizations: Sigma Kappa Sorority & PRSSA

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: Center for Career Development

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
A piece of advice I would give to an incoming CGS student is to prioritize their well-being and manage their time wisely. There are so many things to explore and experience upon arriving on campus; making friends, navigating classes and schedules, trying to set a sleep and eating schedule, exploring Boston, that students can often compromise their health and well-being trying to do it all. It is important for students to remember to look after themselves and create habits that incorporate their emotional and physical well-being.


Sana Iqbal
Team F
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Northern suburbs of Chicago
BU Major: Environmental Analysis and Policy

Gilbane Office Hour: Mondays 2-3 pm

Email: sanaish2@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Writing, reading, DIYs, history

BU Clubs/Organizations: BU Sustainability, BU Community Gardens, PMReady, Build Lab

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: Experiential Learning Courses and 1-1 with CCD

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Don’t be afraid to do things alone, find friends from clubs, plan out activities so that you are able to explore the city on weekends, explore different pathways and meet with professors in different departments for academic interests, and find resources early on!


Ayumu (Ayu) Izumo
Team E
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: New York, NY
BU Major: CDS Data Science

Gilbane Office Hour: Mondays 12-2 pm and Wednesdays 1-4 pm

Email: aizumo@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Biking, running, exploring Boston and many other cities around the world, art, listening to music (as well as making my own playlists!), and poetry

BU Clubs/Organizations: BU Prison Outreach Initiative, Cycling Club, Running Club, Data Science Association, CDS Student Government

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: Center for Career Development and CDS/CGS Academic Advisors

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Enjoy life! While academics make up the primary aspect of being a BU student, I think doing things that you love to do is just as important as studying. There’s really no shame in doing so; in fact, I believe college, especially in the context of BU and CGS, is meant to be a place where we embrace our differences in the way that we think, see, and do things, and few things can beat the feeling of finding comfort in doing something that makes you (and only you) feel your best.


Lewis Levy
Team E
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ
BU Major: History

Gilbane Office Hour: Wednesdays 12-1 pm

Email: lewis77@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Singing/songwriting, going outside, playing pickleball, working out, and hanging with friends

BU Clubs/Organizations:Pre-Law Society, Fenway Hall Council, BU Hillel, and BU Survivor Club

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: CGS Academic Advisor

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
I would tell myself at the start of the first semester that it’s okay if things are not as perfect as you imagined and to take time for yourself. I think there is an idea of what college should look like and what you should be doing your first semester. The truth is there is no right way to do college and it’s important especially when starting that you be present, check in mentally, and try your best!


Valerie Mensah
Team G
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Rutland, MA
BU Major: Biology – CMG

Gilbane Office Hour: Wednesdays 4-5 pm and Fridays 7-8 pm

Email: vtbawseu@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Reading, math, drawing, graphic design, editing, audiovisual, Netflix/Hulu (any streaming service honestly)

BU Clubs/Organizations: Umoja: The Black Student Union, Youth Empowerment Ministry | BU, National Society of Black Women in Medicine, Ghanaian Student Organization

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: CAS Think Tank!! The best place to study and get work done.

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Take it easy!! This is a new era for you and it’s okay to be a little confused at first. Do not be afraid to ask for help, I promise you are not the only one struggling.


Eleina Perez
Team B
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Queens, NY
BU Major: Major: COM – Public Relations Minor: CAS – Psychology
Hobbies/Interests: Running, exploring Boston, listening to music, playing piano, writing

Gilbane Office Hour: Tuesdays 3-5 pm and Thursdays 2-3 pm

Email: esperez@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Running, exploring Boston, listening to music, playing piano, writing

BU Clubs/Organizations: PRSSA/Work at Agganis Arena

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: The COM Writing Center

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Get active in as many activities as possible. Although it seems a bit difficult to do so starting in the spring semester, BU has an extensive amount of resources on how students can get involved, which will allow you to make new friends who just might stay with you for life!


Dafni Suresh
Team D
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Natick, MA
BU Major: Psychology

Gilbane Office Hour: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11 am – 12 pm

Email: dasuresh@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Painting, playing video games, going out with friends

BU Clubs/Organizations: CGS Dean’s Host

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: Center for Career Development

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
It’s okay to be unsure of what direction you want to go in life, take your time with yourself.


Caterina Tomassini
Team D
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Wayland, MA
BU Major: International Relations (Foreign Policy and Security; Middle East)/ Minor – Journalism

Gilbane Office Hour: Mondays 12-1 pm, 3-4 pm and Tuesdays 2-3 pm

Email: catlucia@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Cooking and baking, reading and writing, shopping and fashion, yoga and cycling classes, road trips, language learning, and curating Spotify playlists.

BU Clubs/Organizations: Boston University Italian Students Association (BUISA), CHARRGE (Changing Health, Attitudes, + Actions to Recreate Girls), Boston University Prison Outreach Initiatives (BUPOI), Daily Free Press, Global House (Italian Cluster)

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: My Academic Advisor

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Freshman year isn’t your be-all-end-all. Definitely made the most of it by challenging yourself, try new things (even if you think you’ll hate it) and putting yourself out there, but it WILL get better and you WILL find your place as time goes on. Trust the process and remember that it all works out in the end.


Julia Williams
Team H
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: New York, NY
BU Major: Philosophy Major, Film Minor

Gilbane Office Hour: Wednesdays 11 am – 12 pm

Email: juliaw17@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Film and television, painting, ceramics, reading

BU Clubs/Organizations: BU Philosophy Club, Lights from the ByWay (film club)

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: The CGS Writing Center, CAS Writing Center

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Go to the library to do your work during the day, Mugar, CGS 2nd floor, or the Law library. You will be so much more productive and then you can hang out with friends or chill after class 😊


Jairo Jahir Zelaya
Team A
Class of 2025, CGS ‘23
Hometown: Houston, TX
BU Major: Film and TV

Gilbane Office Hour: Mondays 6-8 pm and Fridays 9 am – 12 pm

Email: jjzelaya@bu.edu

Hobbies/Interests: Board games, volleyball, and cooking

BU Clubs/Organizations: Delta Kappa Alpha (DKA), BU Beat Box Club (BUBBX), Film Biz, BU Trading Card Game Club (TCGC), BU Survivor

Favorite Academic Resource on Campus: Newbury Center

What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your first semester on campus?
Asking questions does not mean you are dumb. Asking question is better than not knowing and pretending to know. No question is a bad question.