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Peer Mentors

Below is a list of the Peer Mentors. Click on each to learn more about them.

Rana Aliani
Biochemistry, Pre-med
I am a sophomore majoring in biochemistry on the pre med track. I was born and raised in Kansas City and attended the Barstow School. I currently do research in Dr. Lundquist's lab and volunteer weekly at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. I am a member of the pre-med society, a Chancellor's Club Scholar, and an active member of Chi Omega. Feel free to contact me with any questions! Email me.
Crystal Bradshaw
English-Creative Writing
I am currently a sophomore at KU with an English: Creative Writing major. I was born and raised in Southwestern Kansas and adjusted very well to the Lawrence community. My extracurricular activities include Honors Resident Assistant (RA), Seminar Assistant, Multicultural Scholars Program, and tutoring. Also, I am very involved in the Latin American department and can answer any questions about the KU Spanish courses. As a freshman, I was a member of the Freshmen Leadership council and highly suggest applying for this amazing opportunity. I am very involved in the English Department and am more than happy to answer any questions. Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions or concerns you may have. My advice to all Jayhawks is: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You never know what knowledge you could gain by just asking a simple question. Welcome to KU and Rock Chalk! Email me.
Victoria Calderon
English, Journalism (News and Information)
I'm a junior at KU, majoring in the vastly underestimated fields of English and Journalism. I was born and raised in Liberal, which is essentially a metropolis compared to our neighboring towns in Southwest Kansas - and that's saying a lot, since "fun" in Liberal means going to Wal-Mart. In my spare time, I enjoy overbooking my schedule and occasionally stressing myself out through my many extracurricular activities (which I actually really, really love being involved with). When I'm not peer-mentoring, I'll be writing articles for the University Daily Kansan newspaper, coordinating for the Center for Community Outreach GROW program, working at the Boys and Girls Club, volunteering across Lawrence, promoting KJHK or playing in the University Band. My hobbies include going to concerts I can't afford, reading and Netflixing. So if you need someone to go to a concert with you or give you a TV show recommendation, I'm your girl. Questions? Email me. Rock Chalk!
Kevin Cheng
Accounting, Finance
Hey there! My name is Kevin and I was born and raised in Overland Park, KS. I am a Master's student majoring in Accounting. After earning my Master's degree, I plan on becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). I will start working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), an international audit, tax and consulting firm, in the fall of next year. I plan on specializing in management consulting, forensic accounting or transaction service advisory after gaining auditing experience. My ultimate goal is to become the Chief Finance Officer of a publicly traded company. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering with the Center for Community Outreach and Big Brothers Big Sisters. I am the president of the KU Club Golf Team and the Toastmaster's International Club. I have been a tutor for the Academic and Achievement Access Center. Please reach out to me with any questions about all things business. This includes what to major in, career opportunities, internships, full time jobs or even the new business school! Feel free to contact me about extracurricular activities as well. I would be more than happy to help.
Carrie Deitz
Environmental Science, Pre-Med
I am a sophomore studying Environmental Science on the pre-med track. I was born and raised in Baldwin City, Kansas but took a gap year between high school and college and lived/worked in London. During my freshman year, I was involved with the Scholarship Hall community and Environs on campus. I am also currently part of a local scout group. My hobbies include keeping up with current events--especially international news--working at a local Thai restaurant, hiking, thrift shopping, running, and knitting. I also obsessively attend CelebriTeas at Nunemaker. Currently, I intend to become a doctor and, hopefully, become involved in Doctors Without Borders. If you have any questions about KU, Lawrence, or Thai cuisine, email me!
Sofia de la O
Chemical Engineering, Pre-Med
I am a senior studying chemical engineering with a concentration in pre-medicine. I was born and raised in Mexico, but have been living in the U.S. for the majority of my life. When I graduate, I hope to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. and become a pediatric oncologist. This career would allow me to combine my passion for helping people with my aspiration to contribute to scientific progress. Outside the classroom, I am involved in undergraduate research, the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Program, the St. Lawrence Center, and work as a Resident Assistant for KU Student Housing. My hobbies include playing sports and staying active, fishing, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family. I have loved my time at KU, and would like to share it with you! Feel free to contact me with any questions. Email me.
Questions? Email me.
Casey Gamble
Marketing and Finance
Hi! My name is Casey Gamble. I’m a sophomore double majoring in Marketing and Finance. I grew up in Chanute, Kansas and graduated from Chanute High School. I lived in Lewis Hall on Daisy Hill last year. Throughout the year, I had a lot of chances to become pretty involved on campus. I was selected to be in the Business Leadership Program. I am the Culinary Committee Coordinator for Student Union Activities. This year I will be a peer mentor not just for the Honors Program, but also for the Ellis Foundation Mentoring Program. Right now I’m planning to study abroad next summer and I would really like to, upon graduating, find a job somewhere along one of the coasts or even overseas. I want to see as much of the world as I possibly can! I’ve got a few years of Spanish behind me and am always up to edit a paper because I really miss my English classes. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions at all! I love to help and to talk to new students! Email me.
Brianna Hafenstine
Human Biology, Pre-Med

Hello! My name is Brianna and I am currently a sophomore majoring in human biology on the pre med track.  Having lived in Lawrence my whole life, I have always loved KU.  Now that I am a student here, I love being a Jayhawk even more with all of the great opportunities KU and the Honors Program has to offer!   For me, these opportunities have included living in Templin Hall, working on campus at the Academic Achievement and Access Center, and being a part of Kala Stroup’s honors seminar on why volunteering matters.  At KU, I am also heavily involved in a campus ministry called Christian Challenge where I have been able to meet many new people.  In addition, I enjoy spending time volunteering in the community such as at the Annual Children’s Holiday Shop or Lawrence’s Family Promise.  KU has several ways of getting involved in volunteering through the Center for Community Outreach or the Alternative Break program. If you have any questions about life in Lawrence, working on campus, getting involved with a campus ministry or volunteering, please do not hesitate to email me!

Megan Hansen
English; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Pre-Med

Hi! My name is Megan Hansen, and I am a sophomore planning to double major in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and English on the pre-med track. I was born and raised in Hutchinson, KS and graduated from Hutchinson High School. So far at KU, I have been involved with MedLife KU, Relay for Life committee, Best Buddies, and cancer-related research. Finding activities that you're passionate about is such an important part of your undergrad experience, and really helped shape my freshman year. If you have any questions about classes, pre-med, research, or life on campus, feel free to send me an email or Facebook me and I can try to help navigate this exciting new time in your life. Good luck and Rock Chalk!

Alex Hwu
Chemical Engineering
Have questions? Want advice? Email me.
Anh Le
Finance, Information Systems
Hello Jayhawks! My name is Anh Le, and I am currently a senior double majoring in Finance and Information Systems, with a minor in economics. I am an international student from Vietnam, so I have been living in my home country for most of my life! Outside of the classroom, I am an active member of Tae Kwon Do Club, Kendo Club, Finance Club, Information Systems Association of KU, as well an RA in Self Hall and an international ambassador for International Recruitment and Undergraduate Admission office. For future occasions, please do not hesitate to send me an email if you have any questions!
Emily Lenherr
Neurobiology, Psychology, Pre-med
Hi! My name is Emily Lenherr. I’m a freshman majoring in neurobiology with a minor in psychology on the pre-med tract. I hope to one day practice in a rural community as a general practitioner or a pediatrician. Originally, I am from Windom, Kansas, but I graduated from Hutchinson High School. I always knew I wanted to come to KU for the top-ranked biology program, research opportunities, and student involvement possibilities. In my last two semesters, I’ve been fortunate enough to become involved with the Pre-med Society as a community outreach director, the University’s Mock Trial Team, research in the field of genetics, Omega Phi Alpha service sorority, the Peer Health Educator Program, the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, Student Legislative Awareness Board, Rotary Club, Miller Scholarship Hall, and even Pitch Club! I love being busy on campus, and I can’t wait to meet future KU students who are excited to begin their journey. Student involvement and academic success are very important to me, and I would love to share tips, advice, etc. on these topics and many more! KU has a world of opportunities, so I’d love to discuss them with incoming freshman and anyone interested in exploring all that is KU. My biggest piece of advice is to try new things that defy comfort zones and also to not be afraid to explore all sorts of opportunities. One can’t find what they truly love until they spend enough time searching for it. Email me with any questions concerning life at KU, pre-med related classes, living in a scholarship hall, etc.! I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you all! Email me.
Parakh Mody
Biochemistry, Pre-Med
Hello everyone, my name is Parakh Mody and I am a currently a senior majoring in Biochemistry. After my undergrad, I hope to go for a MD/PhD program via the NIH funded Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Ultimately, my goal is to help tackle infectious diseases that currently plague underprivileged children. Alright, that’s enough about me! For all high school students aiming for a biology/chemistry/pharmacy oriented degree, my biggest piece of advice is to get involved early and invest time heavily in undergrad research. It is the one thing that I think pays off the most out of students’ undergrad careers and the one activity you simply can’t get enough of. The longer you spend time in research, the better you can develop and explore your interests and the more confident you feel once you enter the graduate world. If you need help with finding a professor that researches your area of interest or just help in finding your interest (and also the best Netflix documentaries ever), I’m your guy. Cheers! I can be reached at (619) 384-2807 or by email.
Loïc Njiakin
English, Behavioral Neuroscience
Hello, my name is Loïc Njiakin and I am a sophomore currently pursuing undergraduate degrees in the fields of English and Behavioral Neuroscience. I am also in keeping with the pre-medical course track as I someday hope to enter into medical school sometime in the impending future. I was born in a city called Douala: located southeast within the West African country of Cameroon. My family moved to the United States when I was five years old and I have been living in the Johnson County/Kansas City Metro area for the greater majority of the past 13 years. I am very interested in English, biology, and psychology. I love to read and am proud to consider myself a life-long learner. I have yet to involve myself with a research project on-campus but I have been piqued by a few research topics and hope to be joining a lab as soon as this upcoming spring. I am a first-year Resident Advisor for the 3rd floor of McCollum hall and am very content with the diverse and entertaining community atmosphere it offers. I love teaching and helping others as much as I am motivated to learn and have thus undertaken a position as a Hawk Link Tutor for the Sabatini Multicultural Center here at KU. As a Hawk Link Tutor I provide free group and individual tutoring sessions under the subjects of psychology, biology, French, and calculus for those students involved in the Hawk Link Program. I am always willing to stand-in as a supplemental resource for any first-year students involved in pre-medicine or considering a major in the sciences. I am also not opposed to offering any aid with those wanting to get a better handle on some of the more trying science related general education requirements. Please feel free to contact me regarding any of the above-listed information as well as even some more general inquiries you might have and feel that I might hold the answer to. Email me
Tejas Patel
Human Biology, Psychology, Pre-Med
Hey! I'm Tejas Patel. I'm currently a sophomore majoring in Human Biology and Psychology, also I'm on the Pre-med track. I was born and raised in Overland Park, Kansas, and I couldn't think of a better place to grow up. I graduated from Blue Valley Northwest High School. I've always been interested in learning about humans and their psychology, hence my two majors. Seeing my dad be a doctor for my whole life inspired me to become one as well. In my first year at KU, I got involved in many activities that have improved my experience. I am a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, pre-medical fraternity. Also, I am currently doing research under Dr. Robert Ward. Lastly, I'm going to be a desk assistant at Templin this year, so feel free to stop by and say hi. KU has so many opportunities that I think if you pick a few that you really feel passionate about, it will make your experience here in Lawrence unforgettable. Don't be afraid to try something you haven't done before! Feel free to email me or add me on Facebook. I'm here for any questions, advice, or if you just want to talk. Rock Chalk!>
Vivek Patel
Organismal Biology, Spanish
I'm a Sophomore pre-med student double majoring in Organismal Biology and Spanish. Over the summers I shadow doctors and work as a volunteer interpreter for Spanish speakers at one of KU's free clinics in Kansas City, Kansas (my hometown). I've worked as an SES tutor for gen. chem., economics, and calc. 1. The spring semester of my freshman year CCO (Center for Community Outreach) helped me find a internship at a local nonprofit, Community Village Lawrence. Nowadays, I am a seminar assistant for Howard Graham's UNIV 101 course "Sport, University and You." The Honors program has allowed me to find many different ways of getting involved at KU, and I hope you try and do the same. If you have any questions feel free to email me! Email me
Christine Schultz
Microbiology with a Pre-Med emphasis
Sophomore from Olathe, KS majoring in Microbiology with a Pre-Med emphasis. I attended Olathe North High School as part of the Life Sciences program with a Biomedical emphasis. On campus I am involved in the Honors Program Student Council and will be a Seminar Assistant this fall. I am a student technician at the Lied Center and hope to become involved in many more campus opportunities. I love being a part of the Honors Program because of the numerous opportunities available as well as the expert guidance given by the staff. I would love to share my experiences with incoming freshmen and hope you take the time to contact me for any and all questions you have.Email me
Ishani Shah
Biology, Pre-med
My name is Ishani Shah, and I am a freshman majoring in biology with a pre-med emphasis. I’ve lived in Overland Park my whole life and attended Blue Valley North High School. On campus, I am on the community outreach committee of the Premedical Society, am a member of Hawks for Health and involved with molecular biology research under Dr. Dean Stetler. Furthermore, I recently accepted the bid to be a part of the premedical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon! I absolutely love being a part of the KU Honors Program because of the numerous resources available to us; all we have to do is reach out for them! If you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to contact me!Email me.
Jay Shah
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Pre-Med
Hello! My name is Jay Shah and I am now a sophomore majoring in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology with a focus in Neurobiology. I am minoring in Psychology and also on the pre-med track. I grew up in Overland Park, KS and graduated from Blue Valley Northwest High School. I have always been interested in the sciences, specifically the neurosciences. I have also always known that I want to become a doctor. Shadowing various doctors and being immersed in the hospital setting have reinforced my goal to become a doctor. In just the last two semesters as a freshman, I have gotten involved with undergraduate research in neurobiology, Phi Delta Epsilon Pre-Med Fraternity, Pre-Med Society, volunteering at a soup kitchen weekly, MedLife KU as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters. Getting involved with activities that I enjoy and am passionate about have made my freshman year absolutely fantastic. I think getting involved as well as academics is key to making the most out of your undergraduate years and KU and Lawrence have an incredible amount of opportunities at arms reach. One of the best pieces of advice I have to offer to incoming freshman is to get out of that comfort zone and pursue some of the many opportunities that are offered here on the hill. As a Honors Peer Mentor now at KU, I hope to be able to help all Jayhawks. Feel free to email me or even add me on Facebook for any questions, advice, or insight. Rock Chalk!  
Leah Spreckelmeyer
Applied Behavioral Science, English
Hello! My name is Leah Spreckelmeyer. I am a junior majoring in English and minoring in Applied Behavior Sciences with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education & Intervention. I am involved in various clubs on campus including: AASU (Asian American Student Association), CCO (Center for Community Outreach), and I am currently the Community Service Chair for Rising Educators, a student organization that focuses on volunteering and networking with schools and educators. I live in a scholarship hall, and I am the Community Service Chair for my hall as well as the Community Service Chair for ASHC (All Scholarship Hall Council). I have gone on multiple Alternative Breaks here at KU, studied abroad in Europe, and I enjoy volunteering and playing tennis in my spare time. After I graduate, I will be working at an international school in Asia for 4-6 years. After that time, I will come back to the United States and pursue graduate school. Do not hesitate to email about any questions you may have!  Email me.
Sophia Templin
Strategic Communication, Minors in Sociology and Business
I’m a junior in the Journalism School on the Strategic Communication track with minors in Sociology and Business. I was born and raised in De Soto, Kansas, a small town about 30 minutes east from Lawrence. I’m a second generation Jayhawk who grew up hearing the Alma Mater as a lullaby. Not only am I a proud journalism student, I’m a pitcher on the KU Softball team and am extremely active on campus. I am an active member of Student Senate, Kappa Alpha Theta, and serve as the campus outreach director for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. I love the idea of creating something that can impact people. This past summer, I interned at a digital marketing agency in New York City and highly recommend anyone who’s remotely interested in working in the city to take an internship. After my undergraduate career, I hope to move back to NYC and work in advertising for a few years until I head to law school with the end goal of becoming a judge. Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me with any questions about balancing a busy schedule, the Journalism School, NYC, etc. The more the merrier!
Nicolette Warnke
Chemistry, Pre-Med

Hello! I am Nicolette Warnke, a sophomore majoring in Chemistry. I am also on the pre-med track. I grew up in Kearney, Nebraska where I attended Kearney High School. It was not until my junior year of high school when I decided that Chemistry was the path I wanted to take, but I had always known that I wanted to be a doctor. I am currently Historian of Phi Delta Epsilon International Pre-Medical Fraternity, Vice President of Diversity Outreach for the American Red Cross Club at KU, a Best Buddy to an awesome guy, a PLUS Leader for Organic Chemistry, a member of the Pre-Med Society and the Chemistry Club, as well as a researcher in Craig Lunte’s lab, and a Lawrence Memorial Hospital volunteer. I have found that staying busy keeps me motivated to do well in school and has also opened up many opportunities for me. One of the best things I have done so far at KU is go on an Alternative Break to Chicago, IL this past summer. I would encourage all of you to step out of your comfort zone and do something that you would not normally participate in. You might just surprise yourself! If you have any questions regarding advising, whether it be in science or not, or questions about KU in general feel free to contact me. I also have insight into the pre-med track as well! Do not be shy. Email me and enjoy your time at KU. Also, take advantage of being a part of an extraordinary Honors Program!

Alicia Whitson
English, Political Science

I’m a sophomore majoring in English and Political Science (at the moment.) I graduated from a small school with a class of 16 people and was extremely intimidated by KU’s huge campus, but now it’s my second home! I spend a lot of time studying (i.e. watching Netflix), but I’m also a member of Spectrum KU and the Concert Choir and the head writer of a web series called Green Gables Fables. I want to work at a non-profit or in publishing or go to grad school after I graduate from KU. Possibly all three. If you have any questions, let me know!


Course offerings are “among the most comprehensive in the nation,” according to “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs”
98% of University Honors Program graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation
40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
1 of only 7 programs nationwide to receive a top rating from “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs” in 2014
60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
KU honors students select their advisors from top-ranked KU faculty
RT @KU _OMA: Do you love Harry Potter? Check out this KU STUDENT job where you get paid to do research on the books/films. https://t.co/xbKn…


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