Meet the 2021-2022 Mentors

GE Mentors are sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Lewis & Clark College who are here to assist and serve the incoming students in the Class of 2025. With particular focus on first generation and students of color, GE mentors are a resource for first year students who can authentically speak from their own perspectives as students on campus.

Mentors are paired with incoming students based on academic and social interests, and are committed to creating a safe and welcoming space for students. Mentors will attend the Great Expectations Retreat with mentees, and then continue building relationships through the entire academic year. 

The * next to a mentor’s name means they are proudly the first in their family to attend college.

 

 

Picture of Altaf Barelvi Altaf Barelvi

Pronouns: He/Him
Year: 3rd Year
Major: Computer Science & Mathematics
Minor: Japanese & Data Science
Hometown: Jombang, Indonesia

Social Interests: Super interested in fashion (big sneakerhead), volleyball, making music (currently learning the guitar), and video games (Valorant anyone?). On campus I’m involved in the Asian Student Union & Muslim Student Union. I also love cooking and learning new dishes from all different parts of the world!

Advice for Incoming Students: The first steps of college is an unpredictable wave. If you have a bad day, know that a good one is just around the corner! Go try new things, join new clubs, and say hi to your neighbors!

 

Picture of Sheyla Dorantes.   Sheyla Dorantes*

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Year: 4th Year
Major: English
Minor: Ethnic Studies
Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Social Interests: I love music! I’m constantly listening to music of all kinds and in all languages (I’m always open to new recs). I am also on the poetry track in the English major so I love writing and reading poetry, especially by LGBTQ or BIPOC poets. I really like watching anime and murder mysteries. My guilty pleasure, however, is Project Runway.

Advice for Incoming Students: There’s a quote that says “Do the scary thing first, get scared later,” so go ahead and dive right in! Try new things and take chances to find out what you like and who you are. Enjoy the moment you’re in and make the most of the opportunities that will come to you. Be kind to yourself and take it easy.

 

Picture of Saana Green. Sanaa Green*

Pronouns: She/Her
Year: 3rd Year
Major: Psychology
Minor: Rhetoric & Media Studies & Theatre
 Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Social Interests: I love doing pretty much anything as long as I’m around family and friends. I enjoy quality time. Hanging out with family and friends is something I also enjoy on a typical day. In my free time, I often like watching YouTube, relaxing, listening to music, and doing anything that involves beauty. Hair, makeup, and nails are my passion.

Advice for Incoming Students: Stay on top of things, get connected to resources, get involved on campus, make friends that are healthy for you, it’s okay to relax sometimes, it’s okay to take mental breaks, mental health is very important.

 

Picture of Jacob Hidalgo.

Jacob Hidalgo*

Pronouns: Any Pronouns
Year: 3rd Year
Major: International Affairs
Minor: Chinese
Hometown: Hawthorne, California

Social Interests: I am interested in singing, writing, reading, playing dungeons and dragons. I also like to cook and reconnecting with my culture. I also practice tarot and astrology

Advice for Incoming Students: Don’t be scared to ask for help!

 

 

Natalie Kirunda* Picture of Natalie Kirunda.

Pronouns: She/Her
Year: 2nd Year
Major: Sociology & Anthropology
Hometown: Kenya, California, Arizona, & Brasil

Social Interests: I have many interests including: bachata dance club, BSU, race monologues on campus. Outside school affiliation I enjoy taking naps, and exploring downtown Portland and its cuisines. 

Advice for Incoming Students: Be unapologetic about putting yourself first, take naps and breaks, it’s okay to ask for extensions and help, and definitely have fun!

 

Picture of Malina Kobayashi

Malina Kobayashi*

Pronouns: She/Her
Year: 4th Year
Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Hometown: Waikoloa, Hawai’i

Social Interests: I love all things beauty, science and anime. I am just going to list a bunch of things that I like: coffee, dogs, gel X nails, cosmetics, sushi, Hawaii, organization, Notion and astrology.

Advice for Incoming Students: Life is about discovering yourself, not changing yourself!

 

 

Picture of JoseM Maidana.

José M Maidana*

Pronouns: He/They
Year: 2nd Year
Major: Sociology & Anthropology, and World Languages and Literatures (French & Spanish)
Hometown: Salta, Argentina

Social Interests: Whenever I have the chance, I like going out and explore the city of Portland and its parks. I love learning about languages, getting to know more people and connect to new friends through their experience. This year I am participating as chair and co-chair for a bunch of language clubs at LC. One of my biggest hobbies is dancing, though I am not good at some types of dance I always end up enjoying the beats.

Advice for Incoming Students: Congratulations, you’ve made it!…It is important to know that at times being in college, away from home, redefining who we are and where we want to go can feel like a rollercoaster of emotions and confusing feelings. Sometimes we will feel like we’ve reached the highest point, and sometime we will feel a little down. With different experiences but with a common bond, we are all part of the same community now and do not forget that regardless of the day, there is always someone willing to hear you and support you.

 

 

Picture of Azucena Morales.

Azucena Morales Santos*

Pronouns: She/Her
Year: 2nd Year
Major: Hispanic Studies, Sociology, & Cultural Anthropology
Hometown: Hillsboro, Oregon

Social Interests: Hello! I enjoy watching K-dramas and anime. I love reading too but lately I’ve been reading fictional novels with themes of romance, identity, and in general characters who are POC. In my Spotify playlist there are Korean, Spanish, English, and some Japanese songs! In my free time I enjoy working on Jigsaw puzzles and going on walks. Super random but I am also vegetarian.

Advice for Incoming Students: Do not be afraid to get out there! It is intimidating, however, you will learn so much about yourself when you do. It may be intimidating to talk to your professors, however, I challenge you to do so. They are here to support you. Always remind yourself that what you are doing is revolutionary. Being a first-generation college student attending a 4 year private institution is intimidating, and here you are doing it!

 

Picture of Maya Postigo Baer.   Maya Postigo Baer

Pronouns: She/Her
Year: 3rd Year
Major: Psychology
Minor: Ethnic Studies
Hometown: Cochabamba, Bolivia

Social Interests: I am passionate about Bolivian folk dancing and I like reading novels, drawing—especially watercolor, hanging out with friends, blasting music and singing, running, going on walks, watching Tik Tok, exploring new places, and cooking!

Advice for Incoming Students: Don’t let any of your social identities constrain you on a personal level! You don’t have to fit into a box—try new things, people, and places! Also, imposter’s syndrome is so real but know that you are not alone, people are struggling (sometimes in different ways) even if it does not show! Be proud of yourself on any and all levels—not just academic!

 

 

Picture of Jordyn Vierra.

Jordyn Vierra

Pronouns: She/Her
Year: 3rd Year
Major: Biology
Minor: Music
Hometown: Wailuku, Hawai’i

Social Interests: I am definitely a foodie and love to try new foods! I have a passion for music and enjoy spending time in the music room playing piano, guitar, singing, or writing songs. I also play softball (when I am not studying abroad) and I love the company of good friends!

Advice for Incoming Students: Growth comes when times are hard and there are barriers to break through.

 

 

Picture of Gillian Watts.

Gillian Watts*

Pronouns: She/Her
Year: 2nd Year
Major: English
Hometown: Kailua, Hawai’i

Social Interests: Hiking, watching movies, knitting/crocheting, going to the beach/swimming, shopping, eating all kinds of Asian foods, and listen to music.

Advice for Incoming Students: Manage your free time wisely prioritize your mental health ask for help from friends, teachers, etc…for school related and non school related topics go to office hours for help and to connect with your professors participate in class.

 

Picture of Natalie Zoz Natalie Zoz

Pronouns: She/Her
Year: 3rd Year
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Chinese
Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska 

Social Interests: On campus I’m involved in Adoptee Club, Asian Student Union, Chinese Club and IME. I enjoy video games, skateboarding, photography and trying new foods. I also enjoy watching movies and listening to all types of music. During quarantine I also started teaching myself how to play the guitar, so hopefully I’ll be able to start a band soon.

Advice for Incoming Students: I think my best advice for incoming students would be to not be afraid of new experiences or meeting new people. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. I think it’s important to know that everyone has doubts and uncertainties, and that there is support for you if you need it.