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Undergraduate Student Leaders


Meet Your 2020 Student Leaders

Summer Orientation Assistants are current NYU Steinhardt students who help new students with their transition to college life. During Welcome Week, Peer Mentors will host programming, and in the fall, they will be co-facilitating New Student Seminar. 

Before starting your studies, see NYU Steinhardt through their eyes via Instagram. Once you activate your NYU email, you'll be added to your department's Google Group. This message board is where you can get fast answers to your questions about registration and student life in your specific department. 

Applied Psychology

APUG Jhala ChéJhala Ché is a rising junior pursuing both Applied Psychology and a combined major in French and Linguistics. She prefers to be addressed by her last name (pronounced “Shay”). She has always loved being in big cities, having lived in both New York City and Philadelphia as a child. She is a returning Peer Mentor and is excited to work alongside advisors to help incoming students navigate their time at NYU. Her favorite part about being a Peer Mentor for the Applied Psychology community is that the major attracts students with lots of different interests and perspectives that Ché loves interacting with. Ché loves reading in natural sunlight, doing yoga, and exploring the hidden gems that New York City has to offer. She is looking forward to getting to know APUG’s new students!

APUG Marissa AlonzoMarissa Alonzo is a rising junior majoring in Applied Psychology with a minor in Chinese. She is from Florida and came to New York City to experience new cultures and to push herself to step out of her comfort zone and into city life. She spends most of her time in small coffee shops and finds joy in getting lost in the city. Marissa is a proud Latina who focuses heavily on the intersectionality between culture and psychology. She is a returning peer mentor who is always available to have a meaningful conversation and loves to tell new student’s about the best coffee shops she’s found in the city. She can’t wait to meet all of APUG’s new students and is looking forward to making new memories in the upcoming academic year!

APUG Enrique ColonEnrique Colon is a rising junior majoring in Applied Psychology. Working towards a career in clinical psychology, he is dedicated to assisting his community in any way he can. The Bronx may be where he grew up, but he’s just as comfortable roaming the concrete jungle of Manhattan. A veteran of city life, he knows how to balance a budget and a good time in New York and is constantly hopping from a deal to a discount. For Enrique, every day is an adventure, with new things to learn and experience. Come sunlight or moonlight, he can be seen taking advantage of all the city has to offer, from pop-up fairs to drag shows. He is most looking forward to getting to know the Class of 2024’s APUG students!

APUG Jordan LopezJordan Lopez is a rising junior in Applied Psychology with a double major in Sociology and pursuing a minor in ASL. She is originally from sunny south Florida but enjoys having actual seasons in New York rather than it just being summer all year round. Some of her favorite things to do in New York City are exploring all the parks, thrifting at many of the shops around the city and exploring the museums she can get into for free thanks to NYU. Jordan is a board member of Pulse Dance Project, an audition-based dance club here at NYU that is perfect for students who love to dance but are not majoring in it. She is excited to meet and get to all the new students joining APUG and is here to help them have a great first semester here at NYU!

APUG Yuxing ChenYuxing Kitty Chen is a rising junior majoring in Applied Psychology and pursuing a minor in Japanese. She is from Guangzhou, China, and came to NYU as an international student. She is attracted by the fantastic diversity performed by the community of NYU and loves to encounter opportunities that are offered by this stunning New York City. She likes to spend her spare time exploring various restaurants, strolling along the streets, and enjoying the sunshine at the park with her friends. She went through a lot of happiness and challenges on campus and can’t wait to share her experiences with the coming students. She is excited to begin her first year as a peer mentor and is looking forward to being friends with APUG’s new students!

APUG Haeun RoHaeun Ro is a rising sophomore majoring in Applied Psychology and pursuing minors in Studio Art and Creative Writing. She was born in South Korea but grew up in NYC - she actually used to live in the apartment right next to the NYU Card Center! Today, she commutes from upper Manhattan. Her favorite things to do include listening to music, playing lacrosse, and taking Molly (that’s the super cute dog in the pic!) to Carl Schurz Park. She is looking forward to her first year as a Peer Mentor and meeting the Class of 2024

Art and Art Professions

StudioArt Camila Rodriguez JimenezCamila Rodriguez Jimenez is a rising senior for the Studio Art major at New York University. Originally from Colombia, she came to the United States to get her bachelor's in fine arts. Her journey started in Santa Barbara, California where she started her studies before transferring. She is actively involved with the community and has therefore worked with different organizations that involve active and creative processes to create social change. Her work is particularly focused on the exploration of culture and memory using mixed media and installation. Given her passion for art and art history, she likes to wander around the amazing New York City going to museums, art shows, and galleries. As a food lover, she not only likes to try new restaurants around the city but she also likes to cook and have a nice meal with friends at home. She loves meeting new people, so she is very excited to welcome the new Steinhardt students and help them with what they need!

StudioArt Sofia YaoSofia Yao is a freshman student at New York University and is currently taking up a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art. She is originally from Macau and has been to the UK to finish her high school education. She enjoys thrifting and visiting museums in NY. She is looking forward to her first year as a Peer Mentor and meeting new people.

Communicative Sciences and Disorders

CSD Kenzo KimuraKenzo Kimura is an incoming sophomore at NYU Steinhardt studying Communicative Sciences and Disorders with Pre-Med. Originally from Brazil, Kenzo has always been fascinated by resolving health disparities through various communities in São Paulo and finds parallels of those issues in New York City and his South Florida home. Outside of campus, Kenzo works as a research assistant at NYU Langone Health, the United Nations, and also the East Coast Asian American Student Union, researching everything from HIV/AIDS in public health to mutated cell growth and repair. He also serves as the Steinhardt Freshman (and now Sophomore) class President. As a peer mentor, Kenzo is ecstatic in both creating familial bonds with new students as well as mentoring the next generation of CSD majors! You can always ask him about research opportunities, the Steinhardt honors program, or anything student-related! When Kenzo isn’t studying at Bobst, you can find him skating, taking photos of his friends, or trying every food cart in New York. He can’t wait to meet the class of 2024!

Education Studies

EdStudies Natalie CuencoNatalie Cuenco is a junior in the Education Studies and Applied Psychology dual major program. This is her second year as a Peer Mentor, and she is super excited to get to do it again! She is originally from just north of San Francisco and has really enjoyed getting to experience real seasons since moving to the East Coast. After having just wrapped up her shortened but wonderful semester abroad in Berlin, she’s excited to be back in New York, where she loves exploring the city on foot, usually with a coffee in hand. Some of the other things that she loves are animals, nature, traveling, and baking. More recently, she’s been learning to cook more than just pasta. At NYU, her favorite part about being in Steinhardt is the fact that it is a close-knit community within both the university and city at large. She cannot wait to get to know incoming students and help them find their place as they start school in New York!

Ed Studies Agnesa XuAgnesa Xu is a rising sophomore majoring in Education Studies. She has declared her minor in Japanese and wants to take another one in Nutrition. She was born and raised in Shanghai, China but has already fallen in love with New York City in her first year. She loves exploring art museums, popular restaurants, and famous landmarks around the city with her friends. She loves traveling, baking, k-pop, boba, yoga, and so on. You may come across her in small coffee houses or dessert shops around union square every weekend. Agnesa is so excited to meet all new students and make amazing memories in the upcoming academic year!

Media, Culture and Communication

MCC Madyson BarnfieldMadyson Barnfield  Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Madyson is now a rising senior studying Media, Culture and Communication with a minor in the Business of Entertainment and is so excited to be returning as Peer Mentor for the fall. She is involved in multiple clubs on campus that have introduced her to people who are also passionate about art, theatre, activism, and music. When she is not studying, working, designing, or campaigning, you can find her at a concert in the city, having a picnic in the park, or chilling at a coffee shop. Her favorite part about New York is that there is always something new to see or do! Feel free to ask her about some of the internship experience and tips, study abroad in Paris, or the MCC honors program. She can’t wait to get to know the Class of 2024 and welcome them to the campus and she wraps her time here at NYU.

MCC Caleb LewisCaleb Lewis is a sophomore majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication and minoring in French and Politics. His favorite thing about NYU is the sheer amount of options there are for following his passions inside and outside of the classroom. Originally from the Atlanta metro area, he is passionate about how political media can be used to inform and mobilize on a global scale. Caleb entered NYU in the University’s Martin Luther King Scholars program, has interned with the City of New York, and often volunteers as an English tutor for recent immigrants to the city. In his free time, he can be found in Washington Square Park face timing his grandmother, on the subway headed to the movie theater, or walking through midtown. As a peer mentor, he’s excited to welcome new Students to MCC, and learn all about their diverse experiences and what brought them to NYU!

MCC Julia MoserJulia Moser is a rising sophomore studying Media, Culture, and Communication. Originally from San Francisco, she is no stranger to city life. She spends most of her time in NYC attending comedy shows, exploring pop-up shops in the Lower East Side, and shopping at the Union Square Farmers Market. Julia is involved with multiple organizations on campus that have allowed her to experience the vast opportunities available at NYU. Currently, she is the Director of Marketing for NYU’s Tisch New Theatre and writes comedy sketches for NYU's very own late-night TV variety show, Views from NYU. She is so excited to meet the incoming MCC c/o 2024 as they embark on their incredible NYU journey!

MCC Cosette LibierColette Libier is a rising sophomore studying Media, Culture, and Communication, and plans to minor in the Business of Media, Entertainment, and Technology. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia. She is a proud Jamaican and loves to travel and experience different cultures. She is passionate about helping others and being a perfect balance of both an academic and a personal mentor and plans to have a future in the Marketing industry. She has previously started a mental health awareness club, and she plans on bringing all of her learned skills to NYU. One of her favorite parts of going to NYU is being able to explore the city and try out different restaurants and coffee shops (she used to work at Starbucks, ask her for some drink recommendations!) Cosette is so excited to meet the new MCC students and share her experiences!

MCC Marissa Hoffman.jpgMarissa Hoffman is a Senior majoring in Media, Culture, and Communications. While her hometown just north of Boston isn’t too far away, Marissa considers New York her true home. On-campus, Marissa is the VP of Communications for the Comm Club and part of Global Media Scholars with MCC (Ask her about it!). Off-Campus, Marissa has had various fashion internships - too many to count and works at a jewelry and home store, Stillhouse. Marissa became a Peer Mentor in hopes of gaining a new outlook on NYU and helping incoming MCC students to have the best experience possible. Catch her at any coffee shop remotely close to NYU, all day every day, whether it be working hard, or just enjoying an oat milk latte. Marissa’s ultimate goal is a media career in the fashion industry, and is excited to meet the class of 2024 and share her experiences!

MCC Camillia KhamedoostCamillia Khamedoost is a junior studying Media, Culture, and Communication with a minor in Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology. She grew up in Southern California but knew from a young age that she wanted to end up in New York City. Camillia is passionate about the entertainment industry and hopes to pursue a career in live event production. Her ultimate goal is to create immersive experiences such as music festivals, conventions, and exhibits. Through her previous internships, Camillia has experience in event design, creative production, and political campaigning. In her free time, you can find Camillia seeking out new Italian restaurants in the city, watching sci-fi movies (huge Star Wars fan), or listening to Arcade Fire. She is also a vegetarian foodie, so feel free to reach out for recommendations! She is eager to welcome incoming students and help them adjust to NYU and the city as a whole.

MCC Kaitlyn StewartKaitlyn Stewart is a Junior in NYU Steinhardt’s Media, Culture, and Communications program with a minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. Since joining NYU, she has served as Director of Communications for her freshman dorm, worked in the NYU Bookstore, joined (and ate way too much food in) Bite Club, and been a part of the Steinhardt Honors Program through the Deans Global Honors Seminar trip to Buenos Aires. Outside of NYU, Kaitlyn has pursued media roles such as directing non-profit fundraisers, fellowships, and creative projects and working at a marketing agency in Brooklyn. Since growing up in Atlanta and experiencing the behind-the-scenes of the media industry through Avengers film sets, Kaitlyn has sought to learn more about art, technology, and the media stories that combine them through NYU’s media programs. Find her sketching in the park, ranting about Streaming Wars to her non-media-studies friends, sitting in Bobst trying to design her website, gushing over the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen in Bite Club, or discussing Marvel and new marketing trends on Twitter. She can’t wait to meet the Class of 2024!

Vanessa DongVanessa Dong is a rising sophomore majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication. She was originally raised in Shanghai, but attended a boarding school in Maryland to finish her high school education. Now, she is in New York and looks forward to more adventures in the future. During the weekends, you can find her exploring the vivacious city. If you go to Soho and Koreatown, there is a large chance that you will see her dining in a restaurant and chatting with friends. In her free time, She enjoys listening to music, trying out new restaurants, and visiting art galleries. One of her goals before she graduates is to make a brochure about five of her favorite boba places. If you want a recommendation for boba places or restaurants, she will definitely be glad to help you with that. She looks forward to meeting and working with them in the fall!

Music and Performing Arts Professions

MPAP Ben SchonhornBen Schornhorn Ben Schonhorn is a rising sophomore at NYU Steinhardt studying multiple woodwind performance. Ben was born and raised in New Jersey where he was very active in the music program at his high school. Growing up, Ben visited New York a lot with his friends and family and he loves that he is now able to call New York his home. Having dyed his hair for the first time in his sophomore year of high school, Ben has been addicted ever since and has done almost every shade of blue and red imaginable! Ben plays a myriad of instruments: clarinet (his primary), oboe, flute, and saxophone. He aspires to be a professional Broadway musician and loves being a member of NYU’s Broadway Orchestra. When he’s not on the 9th-floor practicing, Ben can be found in the Starbucks next door, doing work in Bobst or hanging out with his friends. He loves seeing musicals, but he loves playing in the pit orchestra even more! Ben is excited to meet all the new Steinhardt students and help make NYU their new home!

MPAP Katarina DemosKatarina Demos is a sophomore majoring in Flute Performance in Steinhardt pursuing a pre-law track with a double major in Philosophy and a minor in Law and Society. She hails from both rural and urban Kentucky but now calls the city her home with love. Katie loved being involved with school organizations on campus during her freshman year, acting as a leader on the Student Government E-Board and in other activities as well. Katie is also a lover of sports and anything athletic, staying busy by participating in NYU’s Intercollegiate Figure Skating and Lacrosse club teams. She is the self-proclaimed master of “doing too much” and enjoys staying as busy as possible. In order to fuel her through her long nights in Bobst or the Ed Building 9th floor practice rooms, she has fostered an affinity for Halal Cart street gyros, Bob’s bagels, bodega coffees, and Joe’s pizza. In her free time, Katie enjoys working on her bullet journal, reading, or going on long runs by the Hudson. She is so excited to meet the incoming freshman in the MPAP program and help them have a great first semester on campus!

MPAP Spencer RoseSpence Rose Spencer Rose is a rising sophomore studying Vocal Performance with a concentration in Musical Theatre at Steinhardt. He hails from a small Pacific Northwest town called Bellingham in Washington State but has quickly found a new love and appreciation for city life in the Big Apple. Spencer loves to explore NYC’s many parks and museums whenever he gets the chance, and since moving to the city, he has also developed a deep love for thrift shopping, as well as New York’s many incredible (and cheap!) restaurants. He is a big sports fan, but also finds the time to listen to Broadway Musicals constantly. When back home, he can often be found hiking, playing with his puppy, or skiing, an endeavor he’s loved since he was 2. Spencer’s favorite thing about NYU is its amazingly talented and driven student body, as well as the incomparable array of opportunities that the school helps to foster. He is incredibly excited to meet all of the new students, and to show them just how amazing this school and city can be!

MPAP Ian LangeMcPhersonIan Lange-McPherson is a junior studying Music Technology at Steinhardt. He is from the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, but he loves New York and all the great things it has to offer. He loves all things music and is especially passionate about performing, recording, and writing. When he’s not studying, he enjoys playing gigs around the city. He is also an active member of NYU’s radio station, WNYU, as a broadcast engineer and podcast recordist. Aside from being a musician, Ian enjoys hiking, running, and the great outdoors. He also loves the urban jungle, and he spends a lot of time exploring the city and going to shows. He loves NYU for its unique student body, and because of its one of a kind programs. He’s excited to get to know all the new incoming freshmen and he looks forward to working with all of them throughout the fall!

MPAP Jillian OlesenJillian Olesen is a rising junior studying Music Technology at NYU Steinhardt. She is originally from Cos Cob, Connecticut but loves New York City for its endless possibilities to create and enjoy music! She plays bass and will take any opportunity to start a jam session and play some funky tunes. She also enjoys classical saxophone music and is a member of NYU’s Saxophone Orchestra. Jill loves NYU Steinhardt for its diverse student body and its abundant opportunities to be creative with people from so many different backgrounds. More specifically, she loves NYU Music Tech for its strong sense of community and its amazing, talented students. She is looking forward to meeting and working with new freshmen in the fall!

MPAP Mary Kate AbnerMary Kate Abner is a sophomore studying Educational Theatre in Steinhardt. She is from Charlotte, North Carolina, but adores New York City, and all it has to offer, with her whole Southern heart. She loves all things arts, and she is especially passionate about acting, singing, and teaching. She spends most of her time working on shows at NYU or teaching theatre to young students in NYC. When she isn’t in rehearsals or class, you can spot her at Peet’s with an iced coffee or at the farmer’s market grabbing something delicious. Mary Kate also loves the city, and she spends a lot of time exploring different areas and going to shows. She loves NYU for the close family she has found within her major and the wonderfully unique student body who has helped NYU become her home. Mary Kate is lovingly called the “mom friend” of her major, and will absolutely bake you cookies and listen whenever you need. She is beyond excited to meet the new freshmen in Music Ed and Ed Theatre and help them transition comfortably into their time at NYU!

Sam_GuytonSam Guyton is a rising senior in the NYU Steinhardt Music Business department. He is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but considers New York to be his second home. Being involved in the local music scene around Greenwich Village has given Sam opportunities to develop his craft of singing and playing guitar. You will find him at the Groove or Cafe Wha during the week, and often in a plane on the weekends traveling to gigs. Sam is a performer at heart but is taking time to learn the ropes of the business to better manage himself in this evolving music world. Sam is a recording artist and you can find his music on all streaming platforms. When his fingers need a break from playing guitar, he watches the T.V. show called Friends! “I’ll be there for you…” yeah, you know the tune! It does not matter if he is a superstar or just a star to his mom, performing is what he loves to do. This semester, Sam is excited to get to work with new students! This is an extremely exciting time in your life and Sam is here to help make your experience fresh and unique!

MPAP Niko MurrayNiko Murray is a junior majoring in Music Business in Steinhardt looking to become an A&R at a major label. He started at NYU as an undecided CAS student and transferred into the music business program in the Fall of 2019 when he realized he wanted to work in music. He grew up in Binghamton NY but spent every weekend in Brooklyn NY, which has become his home as a commuter this year. Niko was recently hired as a College Marketing Rep at Sony Music and looks forward to sharing merch from artists with incoming freshmen. As somebody who spent a lot of time in NYC growing up, Niko has nearly the whole metro system committed to memory so if you need help getting around he is your guy. Some of his hobbies are making weekly Hip Hop and RnB Playlists and finding the best halal food cart in Greenwich Village. Niko is looking forward to getting to know the incoming freshmen and helping them get acquainted with NYU and NYC.

MPAP Lyle RiveraLyle Rivera Lyle Rivera is a sophomore guitarist studying jazz in Steinhardt. Lyle proudly hails from Milwaukee, WI, where he played a lot of baseball and blues music. In New York City he can be seen frequenting improvised music performances, noodle restaurants (udon, ramen, ravioli, soba, etc.), bubble tea shops, or going for long walks. Lyle has an active lifestyle and outgoing personality and would love to see and assist incoming students flourish in their new environment.

Nutrition and Food Studies

Ashley DEspositoAshley D'Esposito is a rising senior studying Nutrition and Dietetics and minoring in Dance. She is from Freehold, NJ and grew up visiting the city often, so she loves that NYU has given her the opportunity to call it home. Ashley is also a member of the department’s Club E.A.T. In her free time, you can find her taking dance classes at Peridance Capezio Center, reading her favorite young adult novels, and watching Gilmore Girls and The Bold Type. Ashley is so excited to be a Peer Mentor because she wants to help new students become acclimated to the school and department, just like her Peer Mentors helped her when she started at NYU.

Stanley YooStanley Yoo is a rising senior majoring in Food Studies and minoring in Business Studies. For his first two years of college, he attended the University of California, Riverside as a Biology major before deciding to transfer out to pursue a different major. Outside of classes, you can find him exploring different parts of the city, ranging from Soho, Koreatown, or even all the way in Columbia! In his free time, he enjoys cooking the same meal over and over again to perfect it or struggling to decide which new recipe to get stuck upon for the next few weeks. Realistically, he spends most of his time on his laptop, where he alternates between spending hours on schoolwork or hours on Overwatch or Valorant. He is excited to be a Peer Mentor and meet the future dieticians, entrepreneurs, writers, cooks, or whatever other career path new students will follow!

Teaching and Learning

Helen WajdaHelen Wajda is a junior double majoring in Childhood/Special Education at Steinhardt and English at the College of Arts and Science. Helen is originally from Upstate New York, but she has found a true sense of community at NYU and is excited to help incoming students do the same. Outside of her role as a Peer Mentor, Helen is a Deputy Opinion Editor at Washington Square News and an editorial intern at a Manhattan-based literary agency. Helen is passionate about eating disorder awareness, education policy, and child literacy, and when she isn’t writing about those topics she can usually be found making very specific Spotify playlists, spending all of her money on lattes, or trying to read approximately five books at the same time.

Sydney LinSydney Lin is a junior majoring in Early Childhood Education/Special Education and Spanish and minoring in Dance. Originally from North Carolina, Sydney found the adjustment to life in New York City daunting, but after finding a community within Steinhardt and the NYU Ballroom Dance Team, she is more than happy to call the city home! Sydney loves to dance, and serves on her ballroom team’s e-board as Newcomer Captain. Beyond dance, Sydney also loves dog walking and exploring NYC on a budget. As a returning Peer Mentor, Sydney is excited to use her experience from last year to help first-year students transition into the dynamic culture of NYU and the Teaching & Learning department!

Asata SpearsAsata Spears is a junior majoring in Early Childhood Education/Special Education and minoring in Educational Theatre. She is originally from Poughkeepsie, New York but has had a great transition to the city and NYU so far. Here on campus, Asata dances on the NYU Step Team and has worked with NYU Lamplighters on a couple theatre productions. Outside of being a peer mentor, she has worked in various elementary schools around the city through America Reads and Jumpstart. When she’s not studying or working, Asata can be found rushing for cheap Broadway tickets or watching 90s sitcoms in the T&L Lounge. She has also had the opportunity to travel through NYU for study abroad and the Dean’s Global Honors Seminar. As a returning peer mentor, Asata looks forward to meeting many new students and another amazing year!

Jacqueline LeKachmanJacqueline LeKachman is a sophomore majoring in Teaching English Grades 7-12 and hoping to minor in Creative Writing. She is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and loves the change of living in fast-paced New York City. At NYU, Jacqueline is involved in Steinhardt Women’s Choir and is on the e-boards of Teaching & Learning Club (TLC) and ElevatED, a club that encourages NYC students to pursue higher education through its STEAMFest events. She lived at Goddard Residential College during her first year, where she thoroughly enjoyed dog-watching in Washington Square Park and being on the hall council e-board, so feel free to ask her anything res life! As a Peer Mentor this year, Jacqueline is excited to help ease students’ transitions to NYU and help them find the sense of community she has found in Steinhardt and the T&L department.

Kaili LeKaili Le is a senior majoring in Early Childhood/Special Education and minoring in both Communicative Sciences & Disorders and Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies. Originally from Northern California, she moved across the country and quickly came to love New York City’s fast pace and endless food spots. Kaili has spent most of her free time seeing Broadway shows, volunteering at toddler storytimes, and dancing on Synchronic-- a tight-knit urban/hip hop team that performs and competes in New York and New Jersey. In spring 2019, she also explored Europe with friends during an amazing semester abroad at NYU London. She has absolutely loved her time at NYU and can’t wait to welcome all of you to Teaching & Learning!