First-Year Programs

2017-2018 Peer Leaders

 Erin Berja

Hometown: Marikina, Philippines

Peer Leader

“As a Filipino immigrant, I may have unique experiences resulting in a different perspective of Tufts. I can share my experiences with first years who are undergoing similar circumstances or troubles — be it with personal identities or external challenges from Tufts and beyond.”

Feel free to ask Erin about: Dance groups and volunteer work!

 Thu Cao

Hometown: Boston, MA

Peer Leader

“Being Asian-American means living between the hyphen —where both cultures are present in my life and I'm balancing them in my daily life.”                                            

Feel free to ask Thu about: The School of Engineering and Vietnamese Culture Club!

 Nic Chung

Hometown: Dalton, GA

Orienation Host

“To me, the Asian American community is just that­­ —a community of people that I can go to for support, advice, or a good time. I'm not dependent on it, but it's always there for me whenever I feel like I need it.”

Feel free to ask Nic about: Finding a club based off of your interests!

 Samuel Ding

Hometown: Boston, MA

Peer Leader

“The Peer Leader Program is important to me because my transition to college felt overwhelming for me and the program provided resources and people that I could go to for support and advice.”

Feel free to ask Samuel about: Cognitive and Brain Sciences Major and Chinese Student Association!

 Jasmine Falk

Hometown: Sudbury, MA

Peer Leader

“I think I bring enthusiasm and compassion to the Peer Leader program. I'm so excited to meet the incoming first years and answer any and all questions they have about Tufts/the Asian American community because I've thought a lot about my first year at Tufts so far.”

Feel free to ask Jasmine about: Music groups on campus and Chinese Student Association!

 Martin Gao

Hometown: Shanghai, China

Peer Leader

“I will try to tell the first-years about the academic and Residential Life and Living (ResLife) resources available on campus.”

Feel free to ask Martin about: How to choose academically fulfilling classes!

 Thao Ho

Hometown: Boston, MA

Peer Leader

“To me, a peer leader is someone who can help guide first years throughout their first experiences at Tufts. Peer leaders are also helpful because they can be a point of contact throughout the year.”

Feel free to ask Thao about: Biology and community health majors and working at the Asian American Center!

 Lilia Kang

Hometown: Marlboro, NJ

Peer Leader

“I hope to be able to answer any questions first years have and to talk to them through any concerns. I am available for any issues first years may come across!”

Feel free to ask Lilia about: Photography/film and the Tufts Daily!    

 Anna Kim

Hometown: Newton, MA

Peer Leader

“During this program, I've felt more at home in the Asian American community than I ever have before. I think it's important that this program exists to help build community among people of shared backgrounds and experiences.”

Feel free to ask Anna about: International Relations Clubs and Club Sports!         

 Nasrin Lin

Hometown: Fort Lee, NJ

Orientation Host

“My PL Lauren took care of me when I was sick during the second week of school, and we still get dinners. I would like first years to have this kind of experience as well.”

Feel free to ask Nasrin about: English at Large (a sub-branch of the Leonard Carmichael Society) and TAST (Taiwanese American Students at Tufts)!                   

  Ryan Luu

Hometown: Malden, MA

Peer Leader

“Personally, I had a rough college transition, so I want any student who feels left out and/or uncomfortable to be able to have someone to talk to and share their feelings with. Even if I might not be the ideal person to someone else, I would still like to be a viable option.”

Feel free to ask Ryan about: The varsity swim team and the Chinese Student Association!

 Natasha Mayor

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Peer Leader

“I am excited to help some first-years navigate their way around Tufts. I want to share my experiences as a student here and help ease the transition into Tufts.”

Feel free to ask Natasha about: College radio and the newspaper!

 Yekwon Park

Hometown: Seoul, Korea

Orientation Host

“I bring energy and excitement to the program, as well as the willingness to help out the first years! Can't wait to meet them!”

Feel free to ask Yekwon about: How he has found a community at the Asian American Center!

 Kaileigh Stopa

Hometown: Holliston, MA

Peer Leader

“The Asian American community is one that I love because although we all come from different backgrounds, we still have shared experiences that help us connect and relate to one another.”

Feel free to ask Kaileigh about: Tufts Veg Society and Tufts Mountain Club!

 Angela Sun

Hometown: Ridgefield, CT

Peer Leader

“The Asian American community to me is made up of many different people from all different backgrounds who connect because they all identify as Asian American. The community means finding people I can relate to while learning about their experiences as well.”

Feel free to ask Angela about: Being undecided and trying to figure everything out!

 Visnavy Vickneswaran

Hometown: Medford, MA

Peer leader

“In high school, I never really thought much about how my race, citizenship, gender, and all other social identities came together to make who I am. But I am very thankful for the Asian American Center and the programming it provides because it made me question how all of these identities work together to shape the person I am today.”

Feel free to ask Visnavy about: BUILD:India and the Tufts in Annecy summer program!

 Andrea Vorametsanti

Hometown: Millbrae, CA

Orientation Host

“While "all Asians are not the same," it is nice to have a group of people that can possibly relate to your own experiences, or at least understand from your perspective.”

Feel free to ask Andrea about: Varsity fencing and Torn Ticket II (a student run drama group––Andrea is in the pit orchestra)!

 Sharmitha Yerneni

Hometown: Clifton, NJ

Peer Leader

“The Asian American community allows me to connect with others who are similar to me. I am grateful for my new, inclusive,  and welcoming family. In this community, I can be who I am.”

Feel free to ask Sharmitha about: Being pre-med!       

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I "join" the Asian American Center?

There is no official way of joining the Asian American Center, but if you would like to receive updates from the Center, please email asianamcenter@tufts.edu to sign up!

What is the Peer Leader Program (PLP)?

The Peer Leader Program is a resource provided in addition to the University's Orientation Leaders. Asian American Peer Leaders are sophomores and juniors selected to work with assigned first-years to help them with their transition to college. Additionally, Peer Leaders participate in a year-long leadership training program.

What resources does the Peer Leader Program provide?

Peer Leaders learn about Asian American topics and issues, coordinate programming for the community, and serve as resources to you in your transition to Tufts. We will write you over the summer, be on campus during Orientation, and be available to you throughout the year.

Feel free to seek out your Peer Leader if you have questions on academics, co-curricular activities, residence life, the Asian American community, or the community-at-large. Your Peer Leader can also help you navigate and understand the importance of being part of an Asian American community. Throughout the year, your Peer Leader will keep you informed of events that may be of interest to you.

Why should I participate in the program?

Many first-years enjoy meeting upper-class students and view Peer Leaders as valuable resources. Peer Leaders are eager to share their own experiences with you and to help you make a successful transition to college. They are able to address general college concerns as well as those related to growing up as an Asian in America. Some students enjoy the group social activities, while others feel more comfortable just spending individual time with their Peer Leader.

Is the program mandatory?

There are no participation requirements. You decide how and when you would like to get involved.

What kind of events does the program organize?

The program coordinates educational programs that focus on a variety of Asian/Asian American issues; organize programs/workshops to help students transition to Tufts; and provides social opportunities to engage with peers.

Who can participate in the PLP events?

Events are open to all first-years.

Can I contact my Peer Leader outside of these events?

Yes, your Peer Leader is available to help throughout the year. Feel free to talk to your Peer Leader, and don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have.

How can I get a Peer Leader if I have not had one assigned to me?

If you have not been assigned a Peer Leader and would like one, please email asianamcenter@tufts.edu.

What does a Peer Leader do?

A Peer Leader's role is to be a resource to first-year students in addition to the University's Orientation Leaders. Peer Leaders also participate in a year-long leadership training program in which they participate in discussions, workshops, and programs about campus, Asian/Asian American, and greater community issues.

How are Peer Leaders selected?

Peer Leaders are selected through the Asian American Center.

How do I apply to become a Peer Leader?

If you are interested in becoming a Peer Leader for the following academic year, please look out for announcements for information sessions in the spring.