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Peer Mentors and Cohort Groups

The small group (cohort) and peer mentoring experience is a major part of the Connections Project and starts on the first day of orientation when you will meet with your group and your upperclass mentor for the first time. From this point on your cohort will be an important part of your HNU experience and your Peer Mentor will serve as an essential resource throughout your first year of college.

More Information about cohorts and mentoring

Meet the 2014–15 Peer Mentors

Michael Heiser

Michael Heiser Hometown: I am from Orange County, CA where I attended and graduated from Cypress High school in 2012.
Major: I am majoring in Criminology with a minor in Sociology.
Favorite Bay Area Activity: I currently play baseball for HNU as a pitcher. I love to travel, be with friends and family, and learn new things.
Favorite Foods: Pasta and Puttenesca
TV Shows: Revolution, Big Bang theory
Music: All types
Places I have been: Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and Spain
Oh the Places I will go: I want to go all around the world.
Suggestion for first year students: Take each day as a gift. Make new friends, meet new people and go out and adventure. College goes by fast and although school is very important so are the connections you make with others.


Jasmine “Jazzy” Grant

Jasmine_GrantHometown:  I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona.
Major: I am majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in Business Management.
Favorite Bay Area Activity:  I love going to Berkeley for Spoken word events and Yoshi’s as well.
Favorite Food:  I love eating my mom’s barbecue ribs, baked beans, and cornbread.
Tv Shows: Every Thursday night, I love watching Grey's anatomy then Black Box.
Music: I love listening to most genres of music.
Places I have been: Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, Florida, Oregon, Washington,Louisiana, Illinois,Nevada, Hawaii, and Costa Rica
Oh Places I would love to go: I hope one day I get the opportunity to travel all over Africa and Europe. Visiting New York and Japan would also be thrilling too.  
Suggestion for first year students:  The best thing you can do for yourself is to invest in yourself daily. So try new things, keep an open mind, and above all else believe in your dreams. 


Kaitlyn Espinoza

Kaitlin_EspinosaHometown: Covina, California
Major: Nursing
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Visiting new areas that I have never been to before
Favorite Foods: Fettuccini Alfredo and Pizza
TV Shows: Roswell, Cake Boss, pretty much anything with a good plot line or baking/cooking
Music: Almost anything from the late 1990s to the early 2000s
Places I have been: Disney World, Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, and Las Vegas, Hawaii, Mexico
Oh the places I will go: Egypt, New York, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Ireland
Suggestion for first year students: College is not about fitting in; it is about finding the people who will accept you for who you are and knowing that there is no one else you would rather be. Do not be afraid to simply be yourself because at the end of the day, there is no one in this world quite like you.


Cordelia Boyce

Cordelia_BoyceHometown:  Morro Bay, CA
Major: Nursing
Favorite Bay Area Activity: San Francisco Adventures
Favorite Foods: Thai Food, Pho, Hamburgers...food is life
TV Shows: Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, Bones, Castle, Avatar, Avatar: Legend of Kora, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, New Girl, Crazy Ones, Star Crossed, and Dracula.
Music: Everything....almost
Places I have been: Almost the entire continental U.S.
Oh the Places I will go: The world, particularly places with good surfing.
Suggestion for first year students: ?Be yourself, don't put yourself in uncomfortable situations that don't feel right, do what is fun and feels right. Also, if you're from the area or you've lived here your whole life, get out and explore! Do something new make memories because all of this goes by in an instant.


Mia Turner

Mia_TurnerMajor:  Psychology
Favorite Bay Area Activity:  Exploring Alcatraz Island
Favorite Foods: Any Kind of Pasta, French Fries, Chipotle, thai food, burritos,mango sorbet 
TV Shows: Lost, Breaking Bad, Scandal, Weeds, Lretty Little Liars, Gosip Girl, Bad Reality Tv
Music: Anything that I can groove to with a beat
Places I have been: Lived in Georgia, visited most of the southern states, New York, Nevada, Boston, and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Oh the Places I will go: Jamaica (where my family is from), Italy, France, Greece, and Spain
Suggestion for first year students:  Always keep a smile on your face, be friendly, and don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Remember to learn, laugh, and try new things!


Jessica Marin

Jessica_MarinHometown:  Azusa, CA
Major:  Nursing
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Walking around San Francisco and going out to eat
Favorite Foods: Mexican, Italian, and my mom’s cooking
TV Shows: Law and Order: SVU, Bones, The Fosters, The Walking Dead, One Tree Hill
Music:  Country, alternative, Latin, Classical
Places I have been: Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, various cities in SoCal and NorCal
Oh the Places I will go: Europe and all the other U.S states
Suggestion for first year students: Always be open to trying new things. These four years of college is an once-in-a-lifetime thing, and you do not want to leave with “what ifs”. Even though we are a small community, there is a lot to do around campus. Being involved with what HNU has to offer is the way to helping you make your first year of college fun and memorable.


Jamontae Robinson

Jamontae_RobinsonHometown: East Oakland, California
Major: Business Management/Accounting
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Going to the Raider games
Favorite Foods: Burritos, Tacos, Chicken and BBQ
TV Shows: Sports center, First 48, Family Guy
Music: Rap, Hip-Hop and R&B
Places I have been: Chicago, Texas, Louisiana, Canada, Detroit,  Washington D.C.,  Ensenada, Mexico
Oh the Places I will go: Paris, Dubai, Costa Rica,
Suggestion for first year students:   For your first year, try to have fun while being academically successful.  Do not let the burdens of school bring you down.  Always keep your head up high and your grades higher.  Remember, closed mouths don’t get fed, so voice your needs.



Dyese Atiba

Dyese_AtibaHometown: Duarte, California
Major: Business – Marketing
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Going to San Francisco to eat and shop
Favorite Foods: Lemon pepper wings from Wingstop
TV Shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Law and Order: SVU, Avatar: The Last Air-bender, Orange is the New Black, and Martin
Music: I love all music but I have a preference for Hip Hop and R&B.
Places I have been: Hawaii, New York, Italy, England, France, Idaho, Nevada, Mexico & Texas
Oh the Places I will go: Japan, China, Africa, and Brazil
Suggestion for first year students: Stay organized, be yourself, and have fun.


Jackie Reyes

Jackie_Reyes Hometown: Richmond, CA
Major: Psychology
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Grizzly Peak in Berkeley
Favorite Foods: Pieology Pizza
TV Shows: Ridiculousness, MTV Teen Moms, and COPS
Music: A bit of everything
Places I have been: Mexico, Los Angeles, Nevada, Arizona
Oh the places U will go: San Diego, Italy and Hawaii (In the future)
Suggestions for the first year students: Be yourself! Don’t be afraid to interact with the staff and other incoming students. Getting to know other students on campus will make it easier to adapt to the HNU environment. If you have a question ask for help, because there are always people who want to support you in any way. You want to avoid procrastinating! But most of all you want to HAVE FUN!!


Jala Carter

Jala_CarterHometown: Fairfield, ca
Major: Psychology
Favorite Bay Area Activity: discovery kingdom
Favorite Foods: Chik Fil A
TV Shows: NBA/College basketball
Music: Justin Bieber, Drake, Jhene Aiko
Places I have been: Nevada, Utah, Texas, Florida, Utah, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico
Oh the Places I will go: New York, France
Suggestion for first year students: manage your time wisely, stay focused, and try new things!


Abi Lirio

Abigail_LirioHometown: Hayward, CA
Major: Biological Science             
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Going to the City, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Hiking, Oakland A’s Games, Golden State Warriors Games, Raves, and Music Festivals
Favorite Foods: Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Ethiopian, American; I’m not picky when it comes to food
TV Shows: Revenge, Big Bang Theory, Friends, Sex and the City, The Vampire Diaries, Breaking Bad, CSI, Parenthood, The Carrie Diaries, and Filipino-American Soap Operas
Music: Trap, EDM, R&B, Pop, Alternative, Jazz, Classical, and Hip-Hop
Places I have been: Philippines, New Zealand, Mexico, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada
Oh the Places I will go: Europe, Asia, Canada, Australia, Africa, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands
Suggestion for first year students: My suggestion for first year students is to be OPEN-MINDED, have FUN, and make WISE choices. Don’t procrastinate and DO your homework the day of. Enjoy every moment and always have a positive attitude! Your hard work will pay off in the long run. 


Kaila Bonnie

Kaila-BonnieHometown: Brentwood, CA
Major: Psychology
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Hiking
Favorite Foods: Can't choose!
TV Shows: Don't have one
Music: I like a little bit of everything
Places I have been: Hawaii, Canada, Florida, Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Washington
Oh the Places I will go: I want to travel all around Europe, and even some more places in the U.S. like New York and Maryland. Maybe even some more places in Hawaii!
Suggestion for first year students: Meet as many people as possible and become involved with the school because it will make your first year that much more fun!


Kulauri Cooper

Hometown: Costa Mesa, California; this is where I consider home because I was born in southern California and I grew up there until I was eight. I have some of the best memories there and I would like to return there someday.
Major: Nursing
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Going to the beach, going on hikes, exploring San Francisco, walking around Berkeley
Favorite Foods: PASTA!! (cannot eat too much of that!), chocolate milk, fruit, greek yogurt, cheese, salad, SMOOTHIES!!
TV Shows: I do not watch too much television. If I am I will always enjoy watching a Giants baseball game! I also like Criminal Minds!
Music: I like almost anything. Since coming to Holy Names I have heard different types of music that I have never heard before. I go through phases of what I listen to but I am always attached with my childhood roots like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iration, Sublime, country in general, Lynrd Skynrd, reggae, classical, alternative
Places I have been: I have not gone too far, I have been to Texas, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, other parts of California.
Oh the Places I will go:I definitely want to travel all over the world!! I would want to start by visiting cool places of my own country starting with Hawaii.
Suggestion for first year students: Live Life!! Work on bettering yourself, follow your gut,


William “Fresh Prince” Newsome

Will_NewsomeHometown: Richmond, CA
Major: Communication Studies
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Playing basketball pick-up games in “The City”
Favorite Foods: Steak & Pasta, Greek food, Chinese food, and basically anything that can fill me up.
T.V. Shows: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Boondocks, Family Guy, Martin, & The Wayan Bros.
Music: Mixtape Hip-hop, R&B, Oldies, & Frank Sinatra Era
Places I have been: Yosemite, Reno, L.A., & Philadelphia
The places I will go: Italy, England, China, Brazil, & Hawaii
Suggestion for first year students: Be yourself!!! Do the things that are going to make you happy and make college the best four years of your life, because this is a lifetime experience you don’t want to waste. 

Ashley Harrinauth

Ashley-HarrinauthMajor: Counseling Psychology
Hometown: Vallejo, CA
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Shopping and eating!
Favorite Foods: Macaroni and Cheese, Bacon, Key Lime Pie, Cha siu bao (Poke Buns), Cheesecake, and Country fried steak. 
TV Shows: Sailor Moon (Moonie for LIFE!!), Degrassi: The Next Generation, My Fair Wedding, Lockup, Beyond Scared Straight, Ghost Adventures, Maury, and anything on the Travel Channel. 
Music: Clay Aiken and Ryan Cabrera, Disney Soundtracks, Calypso, Oldies, R&B, New Age, Classical, and some Top 40. 
Places I have been: Australia, London, France, 
Oh the Places I will go…: Italy, Barcelona, India, Japan, Trinidad & Tobago, and I want to visit the remaining states in the US so I can say that "I've been to all 50 state in the US"!
Suggestion for first year students: Don't take yourself too seriously. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. Oh, and DON'T PROCRASTINATE and always do your homework! 


Verrone Liu

Verrone_LiuHometown: San Francisco
Major: Nursing
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Food adventures
Favorite Foods: Japanese/Korean food and all desserts
T.V. Shows: Doctor Who, White Collar, Criminal Minds, CSI, Orange is the New Black, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors, Avatar...  
Music: Alternative and KPOP
Places I have been: West Coast, East Coast, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, Korea, Japan, China (HK and mainland) , Taiwan, Thailand, and France.
The places I will go: Italy, England, Spain, Australia, and Korea (again).
Suggestion for first year students: Get to know your classmates and professors. Get a study buddy. Say hi to strangers. Don't procrastinate.


Amanda Chavez

Amanda_ChavezHometown: Bakersfield, CA
Major: Higher Education/Student Affairs Graduate Student at USF
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Adventures across the bridge! Like visiting Marin Headlands, going to Hippy Tree in Belvedere Tiburon, walking around Sausilito, BBQing at Stinson Beach, and going to Giant's games in the city.
Favorite Foods: Mexican, Italian and Chinese
T.V. Shows: Once Upon a Time, Game of Thrones, Modern Family, Supernatural, Scandal, Breaking bad.
Music: All types of music! Except for heavy metal...
Places I have been: Washington D.C, Indianapolis, and all around California!
The places I will go: Hopefully traveling to other states and Europe!
Suggestion for first year students: Take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you. Your first year will only be as great as you make it! Try new things, make new friends, and get involved with your campus. Whatever you put into your school you will get back. HNU will open many doors for you, so don't be afraid to walk through them! And don't forget to be SAFE and have FUN!


Lindsey Greene

Lindsey_GreeneHometown: Granite Bay, California
Major: BA in English and Modern Languages (2007); currently working on Master's in Higher Education and Student Affairs
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Riding my bike across the Golden Gate is the coolest "Bay Area" thing I've done since moving here in January.  On a regular basis, however, my favorite Bay Area activity would have to be eating! We have the most amazing restaurants here!
Favorite Foods: I love pretty much all food, especially anything my boyfriend cooks (he is a chef!) Anything with fresh ingredients and interesting flavor combinations!
T.V. Shows: Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Scandal, Sopranos
Music: The Shins, Broken Bells, and Of Monsters and Men are my favorite go-to's, but 90's rap always gets me pumped!
Places I have been: I've traveled extensively through Mexico, living in Queretaro, MX for a year in 2006. I've also been to Spain (Madrid, Seville, and Granada) and Italy (Rome for just 3 days!) and can't wait to go back one day! I also lived in Maui for a year and a half before moving to Berkeley this last January.
The places I will go: I'd love to go back to Europe! Also, Thailand, Indonesia, and more of Latin America would be amazing.
Suggestion for first year students: Commit yourself fully to being there, even if you have doubts initially - that's normal! Involve yourself as much as possible in different activities at your school and you will find your place there. Also, take different classes in various fields to see what interests you. You never know, you may end up discovering a new passion!

Caleb Rees

Caleb ReesHometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Major: Business
Favorite Bay Area Activity: Walking the pier in the city
Favorite Foods: Edible things
TV Shows: Walking Dead, Family Guy, Animes
Music: If the beat is fast and the bass is low, its fine by me
Places I have been: Disneyland, Alaska, Canada, Washington, Arizona
Oh the Places I will go: Japan, London, Shanghai, Brazil, New York & Chicago
Suggestion for first year students: Be open to new adventures and experiences! You never know what you may like until you've tried it.


More Information

  • We make cohort assignments by considering interests (i.e. athletes and non-athletes, resident and commuter students, business majors, nursing majors, music majors) and experiences students might not otherwise have.
  • Mentors meet regularly with their cohorts to faciltate discussion and promote opportunities to become better acquainted with classmates, faculty, and the HNU community.
  • Students meet regularly with their cohorts to participate in many parts of the connections project lab, form study groups, and have fun!
  • Apply to be a Peer Mentor


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