Meet our 2017 Mentors

Our mentors are studying...

Criminology

Ashley Dherari: Criminology (Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I love travelling! I have travelled to many different places around the world (e.g. South America, Europe, Asia, etc.)! Even though I have already done an extensive amount of travelling, I still have many more places I would like to go to!

Find out more about Ashley...

What is your best first year memory?

The new people I met! It is an exciting experience transitioning from secondary to post-secondary and the best part is meeting new people who can later become great friends.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Take the new and maybe scary experience as an exciting next step in your life. Engage yourself and try new things as this will undoubtedly enrich your experience in university! From a personal point-of-view, I wish I put myself "out-there" more; therefore, I would encourage students not to make the same mistake as I did!

Amrit Tehara: Criminology (Major), Health Science (Intended Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I love to hike!

How are you involved on campus?

Find out more about Amrit...

What is your best first year memory?

My friend and I tried to be super early to one of our lectures but ended up walking in on a lecture that hadn't ended. We were embarrassed but had a good laugh!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

When you're feeling down, tell a friend how you feel. Venting to someone can make you feel so much better and their advice can help you a lot as well.

Kenneth Ng: Criminology (Intended Major)

What is your best first year memory?

During my CRIM 135 class was when our instructor asked us to introduce ourselves to people sitting next to us. Normally, I would just ignore the instruction, but I’m glad I didn’t because now, I have a great friend to take classes with!

Find out more about Kenneth...

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I don’t know how to ride a bike! I guess I just never learned how to as a child.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

It is 10/10 worthwhile to prepare in advance. At SFU, we’re fortunate enough to know in advance when our final exams are! There’s no shame in spacing your final exams with gaps in between; you’ll be much better off when it comes to exam season. Also consider what pre-requisite courses you need to declare your major when planning your courses! Finally, do some research on ratemyprof and coursediggers because it’s totally worth it!

How are you involved on and off campus?

Aileen Saadatmand: Criminology (Minor), Health Science (Major)

How are you involved on campus?

Find out more about Aileen...

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

Despite my small stature, I was an avid rugby player for years. Unfortunately I had to give up the sport because I broke my jaw and had to have it wired shut for a whole month.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Don't be afraid. There are so many things we hold back on due to fear of uncertainty, but some of the best experiences in life originate from ideas that seemed scary at first. Whether its joining a club, switching your major, applying for a job you didn’t think you would get, or signing up for frosh when you don’t know a single person, taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone is what’s going to allow you to prosper not just in university, but in life in general.

What is your best first year memory?

Participating in the FASS Frosh event. I literally did not know a single person attending and I knew going would really put me out of my comfort zone. Regardless, I went and ended up having an amazing time while making some life long friends. It was the perfect way to kick off my university experience and get excited for the years to come.

Sophie Fujii: Sociology (Major), Criminology (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I did theatre for 4 years and despite coming across shy I do not struggle with public speaking at all.

How are you involved off campus?

  • Bath and Body Works

Find out more about Sophie...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Speak up in class! University welcomes different views whether they are the majority or minorty, right or left - for the most part there are no wrong answers. You will not be penalized or made fun of, it's a great way to remember content and be noticed by a professor!

What is your best first year memory?

One of the second sociology classes I ever took solidified my passion for the discipline, it was a media class where we talked about the show Greys Anatomy and I was the only one who got full marks on the midterm because of my knowledge of the show!

Shaquilla Johnson: Criminology and Psychology (Joint Major)

What is your best first year memory?

Living on residence! I got a late acceptance so I didn't have a choice in selecting where I would stay, but I'm happy about that. Even though I was nervous about living on a co-Ed floor, my floor mates were super nice and outgoing. We all became friends that year and two years later, we still say hi and chat when we see each other on campus.

Find out more about Shaquillia...

How are you involved on campus?

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

It's okay to be nervous about starting this part of your life because of how everyone emphasizes getting a degree. However, always think about how you'll feel when you look back on your experience at SFU. This isn't just a university to receive an education, but also a place to make really awesome memories. So get involved! Find a hobby that you like and join that club or volunteer! Secondly, read the syllabus for every class and figure out if there are conflicting due dates because you can either plan accordingly, or speak with a professor about extending a due date.

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I constantly say sorry (I think more than what  is expected from a Canadian haha). I will say sorry for something I didn't even do or had no part in doing.

Erwin Kwok: Criminology (Honours), Forensic Studies (Certificate)

What is your best first year memory?

An awesome experience was when I made my first friend in class just by approaching them and actually engaging in small talk. I mean, we're at THE "Engaged University"! May as well right?!

Find out more about Erwin...

How are you involved on campus?

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Don't wait until it's too late to do something you want to do: just do it! When I say this, I think of both studying and getting involved. Among my peers, the consensus is almost unanimous in that everyone wishes they were more involved in their early school years rather than 3rd and 4th years. As well, if you want to do better in school or do well in school, then work for it! Don't say you'll study "tomorrow" or "later", just do it!

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

Truthfully, I like to think I'm an open book, so there isn't much unexpected about me. However, I do try to be always mindful of others' opinions of me if this counts as 'unexpected'!

Lisa Baek: Criminology (Major), Legal Studies (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I have three miniature dachshunds named Bbodol, Cookie & Cream.

Find out more about Lisa...

What is your best first year memory?

Handing in my very final test for my first year and enjoying my break.  Just kidding, finding new friends in classes.

How are you involved on and off campus?

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Join clubs, not go to them.  See raccoons, don't become them. Flush down toilets, not your GPA.  Just kidding, visit your professors and TAs during office hours. Do your readings before class. On the first day, go a couple minutes early and find your classroom in advance. Do not be discouraged if you cannot find a friend on your first week (: Welcome to SFU!

Economics

Kenny Seeto: Economics (Major), Business (Minor)

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Join clubs and get involved in school so you can make the most out of your university experience

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I've been to China and Hong Kong!

Find out more about Kenny...

How are you involved on/off campus?

What is your best first year memory?

Going to FROSH and meeting new friends that I am still close with today!

Eloho Egbedi: Economics (Major), Business (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I draw sometimes; mostly still-life drawing.

Find out more about Eloho...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Always make decisions based on what you want, not what others say.  Always see an advisor every semester just to be on the right track!

Sean Lee: Economics (Honours), Ethics Certificate (Concentration in Ethics, Business and Economics)

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

I would recommend new students to visit all the student clubs during the clubs days, so they can meet different people with similar interests. They could even get more involved by becoming a club executive or volunteer.

Find out more about Sean...

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I wake up at 5:00am every morning!

How are you involved on campus?

What is your best first year memory?

Going to the SFSS concert with my friends because it was one of the biggest events at SFU, and everyone was actively engaged with each other. I met some interesting people and I really had a great time! The atmosphere the concert created was very unique and really made me feel a part of the SFU community.

Hassan Khattak: Economics (Major), Business (Minor)

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Manage time well, believe in yourself,work hard,stay dedicated, and get yourself involved on and off campus. Loads of opportunities available,avail them at the earliest. Study-Life balance is a must!

Find out more about Hassan...

How are you involved on/off campus?

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I am a sneakerhead! I have got loads of sneakers!

What is your best first year memory?

I got featured in the PEAK magazine, for outstanding performance in PSA cricket  tournament. I received the man of the series award too! I also made some really close friends from all over the world.

William Lionhart: Political Science (Major,) Economics (Intended Joint Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I've accidentally driven onto train tracks in the dark of night with my cousins on board. The car was on the verge of becoming stuck onto tracks that are regularly frequented by freighters. Luckily, with some maneuvering, we were able to get out.

Find out more about William...

What is your best first year memory?

Technically, I haven't been a first-year at SFU when I began. But for my first year here at SFU, I would say the best memories are the first encounters at SFU I've had with my friends who have become my very close friends to this day. Origin stories are always the best stories.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Keep an open mind and constantly try new things. It's easy to fall into a comfort zone after a while, but your breadth of learning and mosaic of experiences will ultimately be constrained if you also do not do things that challenge you and make you uncomfortable. For introverts that may be group functions or public speaking. As for myself, I didn't ask for help when I needed it. I consider myself a fairly independent person and take pride in my autonomy. However, all human endeavors require cooperation and support from others. It's not weakness to ask for help, it is human.

English

Sartaj Birring: English and History (Joint Major) 

What is your best first year memory?

SASSQUATCH (Arts Frosh)! The best part of first year was the FASS Retreat at the beginning of the year.

How are you involved off campus?

Find out more about Sartaj...

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I have played Ultimate Frisbee competitively in the past and I have been to nationals before! Now I play recreationally when I get the time!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Don't be afraid to attend campus events! I know I rarely attended SFU events for my first two years as I didn't really know anyone, but those events are some great opportunities to meet new people and make friends! There can be free food too...

India Neville: English (Intended Major), Biology (Intended Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I was born in Australia and went to elementary school in New Zealand, so I speak with a Kiwi accent when I talk to my family.

Find out more about India...

How are you involved on and off campus?

What is your best first year memory?

Making a gingerbread house during the annual FASS Gingerbread Extravaganza. My team was ill-prepared, and our gingerbread house looked like a crime scene... so that's what we made it! My mentor Emiko and I combined our English major skills to compose a poem about Santa killing Mr. Ginger in a hit-and-run on Christmas Eve. We didn't win the contest, but we had so much fun!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Take advantage of the beautiful mountain around you! It's an easy ten-minute walk to Burnaby Mountain Lookout from SFU. Also, (if it's not raining), why cram yourself onto the 145 bus when you could hike down to Burquitlam or Production stations in under an hour? I know I sound like a total exercise fiend in suggesting this, but I'm really not- I just know that going outside is an awesome way to take a study break and improve your mood. Wear runners to school (or leave some in a locker) and you're good to go!

Grace Chen: English (Major), Health Science (Minor)

How are you involved on campus?

Find out more about Grace...

What is your best first year memory?

My best first year memory was attending the SFU Recital Society's icebreaker event, where we played games as a giant group and socialized over pizza. Some of the first friends I made at SFU were from the Recital Society. This was the first club icebreaker I ever attended, and I had a great time and was motivated to go attend other clubs' icebreakers.

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I collect the My Little Pony plushies from TY (the brand behind Beanie Babies back in the day). I have every pony in the regular size (plus one in a colour that must have been a one-off mistake) and am working on finishing the collection of jumbo-size ponies and the keychain ones.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

I would highly encourage new students to spend some time getting lost on campus. Exploring the foreign corridors of different departments, wandering up and down distant flights of stairs, and enjoying SFU's many little courtyards. From doing this, I have discovered many new study spaces with comfortable seats, silence, and sprawling window views; more microwave locations; beautiful outdoor spaces, such as little courtyards, fountains, or rooftop views; and fascinating hallway displays, such as the interactive Periodic Table mounted on a wall in the Science wing.

Serenity Friesen: English (Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I really want to raise goats someday. They're such hilarious animals; life could never be boring.

How are you involved off campus?

Find out more about Serenity...

What is your best first year memory?

Sitting in Children's Lit and I got a text from my family saying that they were parked in front of my school and that they had our new puppy with them. What's more important - lecture or new puppy? I think you know.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

The most important thing you can learn is to know yourself. Everything you learn both in and out of school should teach you something about your own mind, your own abilities, and what is important to you. The more you know these things, the better equipped you will be to achieve your goals.

Sydney Wallin: English (Intended Major), French Language (Intended Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I love to play video games!

How are you involved on campus? 

Find out more about Sydney...

What is your best first year memory?

My best memories involve making new friends, who I still hang out with and talk to today!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Everyone feels stressed and lonely when they first get here, but I promise it won't last. You'll adapt and learn and make new friends in no time, and everyone is willing to help you!

French

Caitlin Chow: French (Intended Major), Psychology (Intended Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I used to be a figure skater, and I was part of a synchronized skating team for five years.

How are you involved on and off campus?

Find out more about Caitlin...

What is your best first year memory?

Finding new study spots with my friends! Whether it was on or off campus, it was fun to test out cafes, libraries, and common areas to see where we worked the best.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Don't procrastinate! That will only result in added stress. Instead, write out your schedule on a calendar, then you can plan accordingly and prioritize your assignments. Don’t stress (too much)! If you don't know what you want to do with your life yet, that's fine, that's why you're in university (Chances are, not a lot of other people know what they're going to do either). You have your whole life ahead of you. Finally, don’t be afraid of change. Not everything’s going to work out exactly as planned, and that’s what makes life so interesting.

Sydney Wallin: English (Intended Major), French Language (Intended Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I love to play video games!

How are you involved on campus? 

Find out more about Sydney...

What is your best first year memory?

My best memories involve making new friends, who I still hang out with and talk to today!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Everyone feels stressed and lonely when they first get here, but I promise it won't last. You'll adapt and learn and make new friends in no time, and everyone is willing to help you!

Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Brittany Lasanen: Psychology (Honours), GSWS (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I got my first cell phone last summer!

How are you involved on campus?

Find out more about Brittany...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Get as involved as you can as soon as possible. There are opportunities to join department student unions, activity groups, and research labs that may align with your interests and provide you with the opportunity to explore your options. These practical experiences can make tough decisions, such as what career you want to pursue, much easier. More importantly, these activities will help you establish friendships that can make your time on campus more enjoyable and help you to develop connections that can benefit you in the future.

What is your best first year memory?

Taking Dr. Lucas Crawford’s Gender and Popular Culture GSWS course. This was the first GSWS course I had taken and Dr. Crawford was an engaging and personable professor.  I expected to only complete a psychology major at SFU but because GSWS made me question how I thought about the world and reconsider my own perspectives, I decided to extend my studies and minor in GSWS.

History

Cindy Hu: History (Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I like to explore different languages! I speak Chinese, English, and French. I can also read some simple Latin! This summer, I am in the Humanities Prague Field School, learning some basic Czech!

Find out more about Cindy...

How are you involved off campus?

  • FIC Peer Educator 
  • Chinese teacher of PuiYing (Christian Services Society Chinese Schools)

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

The resources at SFU are very useful! You will benefit by using them!

What is your best first year memory? 

Taking a campus tour!

Daria Evans: Political Science and History (Double Major), Dialogue (Minor), African Studies (Certificate)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

My goal is to move to Cape Town to do either a Masters or Law degree, and while I'm there I want to learn to surf and speak Xhosa.

Find out more about Daria...

How are you involved on campus?

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Apply for the positions and opportunities you think you aren't qualified for. You may be surprised at how many times you will get into programs you thought were out of your league. You will push yourself, fall down, and struggle through, but thats the time when you grow. Take up the challenge and take the time to do exciting things. It won't matter if you take an extra year to finish your degree if you use the time well.

What is your best first year memory?

My best first year memory is getting an A on my final paper for History of Sexuality. I didn't do very well on my first assignments so I was really happy to see that I had improved my writing.

Sartaj Birring: English and History (Joint Major) 

What is your best first year memory?

SASSQUATCH (Arts Frosh)! The best part of first year was the FASS Retreat at the beginning of the year.

How are you involved off campus?

Find out more about Sartaj...

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I have played Ultimate Frisbee competitively in the past and I have been to nationals before! Now I play recreationally when I get the time!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Don't be afraid to attend campus events! I know I rarely attended SFU events for my first two years as I didn't really know anyone, but those events are some great opportunities to meet new people and make friends! There can be free food too...

International Studies

Jenna Richmond: International Studies (Intended Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

An interesting fact about me is that I love rugby. This spring I attended the Vancouver Rugby Sevens Tournament which consisted of two full days of watching unbelievable international rugby teams play, it was basically the best weekend ever!

Find out more about Jenna...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Reflecting back upon my first year, my advice is to expect that your first year will be a bit messy. There will be some hiccups as you transition to university such as adjusting to your course workload and dealing with more responsibility for your studies. However, these experiences are completely normal, every first year student goes through it, including me, so you’re not alone. Also, there are many resources, such as the Student Learning Commons or visiting your academic advisor, that can help make your transition to university a success.

What is your best first year memory?

I already knew about half of the group in my second semester of Surrey First Year Learning Community (FLC) but I was still a bit nervous. My nerves quickly disappeared however because we played a silly charades icebreaker that was actually quite fun, contrary to most icebreakers. The game had everyone laughing and it made for a great start to second semester.

How are you involved on and off campus?

Juan Trevino: Communications (Major), International Studies (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I do not like to spend much time at home, I prefer to spend a lot of time exploring new places in the city or the natural outdoors.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

The university experience is a journey that is only as interesting as you make it. Going to class will get you knowledge, but engaging with the University's community makes the journey a thousand times more exciting.

Find out more about Juan...

What is your best first year memory?

I had a chat with a 4th year student who was volunteering for the New Student Orientation and I talked with her about SFU on the bus. Also, getting off the bus and seeing the campus for the first time was a great memory!

How are you involved on and off campus?

Jordan Arnold: Political Science (Major), International Studies (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

Before I decided on going to SFU, I was actually going to go to culinary school to become a chef.

Find out more about Jordan...

What is your best first year memory?

Being able to meet and become friends with so many people from around the world during my time on residence is something that I'll never forget from my first year.

How are you involved on campus?

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

While you're going to hear it a lot during your time at SFU, listen to them when they say get engaged! I went through 2 years at SFU before getting involved and I have made so many new friends and had some amazing opportunities because of it!

Julia Scott-Lenz: Communications (Major), International Studies (Minor)

How are you involved on and off campus?

Find out more about Julia...

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I love learning about new transit systems and riding them! A few years ago I made a transit system bucket list that I am slowly working my way through.

What is your best first year memory?

Finishing my History 130 exam. It was my first exam of first year, and the class was way more difficult than I expected, but the professor was brilliant and really opened my eyes for what university had to offer. I was so relieved to be finishing my first university credits, but I knew I'd really miss that class.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Put yourself out there and get involved! It's terrifying at first, but joining a club has been one of my favourite and most rewarding experiences of university. It really opens the doors to making friends and connecting with people from so many different backgrounds.  Joining the Hiking Club has been amazing, and I've been able to meet so many fantastic and hardworking people who just want to get others enjoying the outdoors!

Rachel Wong: Communications (Major), International Studies (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I've been the same height since I was 13!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Never feel like you are too young to get involved! You can get involved in so many ways - clubs, on and off campus outreach, student governance... there is something for everyone!

Find out more about Rachel...

What is your best first year memory?

Being part of the First Year Learning Community (FLC at SFU Surrey)! It was an excellent opportunity for me to meet other people who were in my program, as well as older students and staff who provided me with so much guidance!

 How are you involved on campus?

Marcus Zheng: International Studies (Minor), Program and Curriculum (Education Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

If you look closely at my teeth,  you will find two teeth fused as one!

Find out more about Marcus...

What is your best first year memory?

I was not at SFU during my first year, however I will love to make yours' memorable and awesome!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

The person sitting next to you in class is just as excited and nervous as you are. There will be no harm in introducing yourself. As a result, you have a new friend in the class!

Arthur Liao: International Studies (Major), Business (Minor)

What is your best first year memory?

I loved going to the Arts Frosh and meeting new friends that are in the same faculty.

How are you involved off campus?

Find out more about Arthur...

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I really like Irish Folk music, I find I love any piece that includes the tin whistle.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Go to office hours for both your professors and your teaching assistants. If you ever get stuck about what critical ideas are central to the writing assignments, professors and TA will help you out!

Linguistics

Jeff Klassen: Linguistics (1st Major), Psychology (2nd Major)

What is your best first year memory? 

One of my best first year memories was orientation. It was bright, sunny, and full of energy. At the time I wished that mindset would last, but there were challenges ahead.

Find out more about Jeff...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Take a deep breath. Build on your strengths. Be realistic about your goals. There might be some setbacks, however, you can learn from them and move on.

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I love to hike in the Lower Mainland! On hot sunny days I like to go for a swim after, if there's water nearby. In the winter I often go snowshoeing. There's a variety of trails at Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge. There's also a good selection on the North Shore mountains.

Political Science

Jordan Arnold: Political Science (Major) International Studies (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

Before I decided on going to SFU, I was actually going to go to culinary school to become a chef.

Find out more about Jordan...

What is your best first year memory?

Being able to meet and become friends with so many people from around the world during my time on residence is something that I'll never forget from my first year.

How are you involved on campus?

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

While you're going to hear it a lot during your time at SFU, listen to them when they say get engaged! I went through 2 years at SFU before getting involved and I have made so many new friends and had some amazing opportunities because of it.

Arr Farah: Political Science (Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I was born and raised in Toronto and visited Vancouver when I was 19 and loved it. So I decided to move here and transfer to SFU.

Find out more about Arr...

What is your best first year memory?

My best first year memory was running to be the SFSS FASS rep. A close second was my Frosh experience, I met many of my best friends through these two opportunities.

How are you involved on campus?

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Take it all in and explore. There is so much opportunity to take classes in FASS and outside of FASS. I would tell them that SFU can be a lonely place if you don't get involved. There are so many opportunities to get involved with clubs, student unions and other student groups.

Daria Evans: Political Science and History (Double Major), Dialogue (Minor), African Studies (Certificate)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

My goal is to move to Cape Town to do either a Masters or Law degree, and while I'm there I want to learn to surf and speak Xhosa.

Find out more about Daria...

How are you involved on campus?

What is your best first year memory?

My best first year memory is getting an A on my final paper for History of Sexuality. I didn't do very well on my first assignments so I was really happy to see that I had improved my writing.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Apply for the positions and opportunities you think you aren't qualified for. You may be surprised at how many times you will get into programs you thought were out of your league. You will push yourself, fall down, and struggle through, but thats the time when you grow. Take up the challenge and take the time to do exciting things. It won't matter if you take an extra year to finish your degree if you use the time well.

Nura Safaie: Political Science (Major)

What is your best first year memory?

On my first day of classes I was too nervous to introduce myself to anyone, but I somehow became friends with an international student from Italy, who then introduced me to her group of friends, and we still talk to this day.

Find out more about Nura...

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I am fluent in Farsi!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Spend first year taking a variety of courses to help figure out what you find most enjoyable. I initially entered SFU believing that Criminology was for me, but after taking one Political Science course, I realized how much more interested I was in Politics. Switching was super easy as well, so it's never too late to change your mind about your major, but first year is a great time to explore your options! Taking a variety of courses also helps you meet people with different interests, and the friendships and conversations that follow also contribute to your ability to make a decision regarding your major.

William Lionhart: Political Science (Major), Economics (Intended Joint Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I've accidentally driven onto train tracks in the dark of night with my cousins on board. The car was on the verge of becoming stuck onto tracks that are regularly frequented by freighters. Luckily, with some maneuvering, we were able to get out.

Find out more about William...

What is your best first year memory?

Technically, I haven't been a first-year at SFU when I began. But for my first year here at SFU, I would say the best memories are the first encounters at SFU I've had with my friends who have become my very close friends to this day. Origin stories are always the best stories.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Keep an open mind and constantly try new things. It's easy to fall into a comfort zone after a while, but your breadth of learning and mosaic of experiences will ultimately be constrained if you also do not do things that challenge you and make you uncomfortable. For introverts that may be group functions or public speaking. As for myself, I didn't ask for help when I needed it. I consider myself a fairly independent person and take pride in my autonomy. However, all human endeavors require cooperation and support from others. It's not weakness to ask for help, it is human.

Psychology

Paul Dhami: Psychology (Major), Business Administration (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I have watched the Back to The Future trilogies at least 50 times

How are you involved on and off campus?

Find out more about Paul...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

I have two pieces of advice, one is to be engaged and the second is to never be complacent. I regret not becoming more involved in clubs and volunteer opportunities right away. Every semester there are clubs days, find one or two clubs you find interesting and dive in! My second piece of advice pertains to schoolwork. It is easy to put things off, but it is the worst feeling at the end of the semester when you know you didn't do your best. So don't be complacent study regularly and on time, it will save you the stress at the end.

What is your best first year memory?

Finally finishing exams for the first time. The jump from high school to university was huge. My first exam was very much a trial by fire that ended up not being so good. However, it was a huge relief being done and knowing what kind of work I need to put in to be successful.

Meg Signorelli: Psychology (Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

When I have some free time I like to draw, or more like doodle as a way to cope with stress and anxiety. There's something pretty about drawing random things and colouring them in

Find out more about Meg...

What is your best first year memory?

I remember that right before the start of my first semester at SFU, I convinced my friend to come with me to campus to help me find where all of my classes were going to be. I was so scared and paranoid that I would end up getting lost and would be late to class! But it turned out to be really fun because we got to see the whole campus and find good places to eat and study. Plus being over prepared worked, I was never late to a single class!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Don't put a lot of pressure on having the "full university experience", it's not like those fantasies you see in the movies. Just come in with an open mind, ready to try new things and meet new people. Don't be afraid to say yes.

Expand those horizons and reach out! Do your best to make connections with people in your classes, professors or TA's. When things get tough and you think you can't make it. these are the people that are going to be the most beneficial in helping you through it.

Lastly, one thing that I always try to keep in mind is to not get caught up in comparing myself to other people. Everyone has their own path and university experience. The important thing is to do what is in the best interest for you and what makes you happy, not what other people are doing.

Zoe Crane: Psychology (Major), Counseling and Human Development (Minor)

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Get involved in any way you can even if you don't feel like you're the type to. You never know who you'll meet, what connections you'll make, or what opportunities might come your way.

Find out more about Zoe...

How are you involved on campus?

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I was adopted! I was born in China and moved to Canada when I was 1.

What is your best first year memory?

Near the end of my first year I was offered a position on the SFU Athletics Dance Team as one of the new team captains. I've met lots of my friends at SFU through the team and the position launched me into my first major leadership role at sfu and inspired me to get more involved on campus.

Caitlin Chow: French (Intended Major), Psychology (Intended Minor)

How are you involved on and off campus?

Find out more about Caitlin...

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I used to be a figure skater, and I was part of a synchronized skating team for five years.

What is your best first year memory?

Finding new study spots with my friends! Whether it was on or off campus, it was fun to test out cafes, libraries, and common areas to see where we worked the best.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Don't procrastinate! That will only result in added stress. Instead, write out your schedule on a calendar, then you can plan accordingly and prioritize your assignments. Don’t stress (too much)! If you don't know what you want to do with your life yet, that's fine, that's why you're in university (Chances are, not a lot of other people know what they're going to do either). You have your whole life ahead of you. Finally, don’t be afraid of change. Not everything’s going to work out exactly as planned, and that’s what makes life so interesting.

Julia Hindy: Psychology (Major), Counseling and Human Development (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I have a huge passion for health and fitness. I competed in my first fitness competition in September 2015.

What is your best first year memory?

The feeling of anticipation and excitement of beginning university, which was a the first step toward my career goals.

Find out more about Julia...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Treat your studies as a full time job and to schedule study time wisely throughout the week. When I do this I find I have more free time on the weekends, am less stressed, and am better able to balance work and leisure.

How are you involved on and off campus?

Jeff Klassen: Psychology (2nd Major), Linguistics (1st Major)

What is your best first year memory? 

One of my best first year memories was orientation. It was bright, sunny, and full of energy. At the time I wished that mindset would last, but there were challenges ahead.

Find out more about Jeff...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Take a deep breath. Build on your strengths. Be realistic about your goals. There might be some setbacks, however, you can learn from them and move on.

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I love to hike in the Lower Mainland! On hot sunny days I like to go for a swim after, if there's water nearby. In the winter I often go snowshoeing. There's a variety of trails at Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge. There's also a good selection on the North Shore mountains.

Mina Khalid: Psychology (Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I would probably have to say my love for American superhero comics! Stuff like DC and Marvel, I love reading them and keeping up with the storylines. Red Hood and Deathstroke are probably my favorites.

Find out more about Mina...

What is your best first year memory?

It would probably have to be hanging out with other first year students before class started. It was a great way to meet new friends and make the start of university a lot less scary.

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Definitely review your notes a few hours after class ends. This definitely helps out with retaining so much information and this way you're going to be studying smarter not harder.

Manisha Bains: Psychology (Major), Counseling and Human Development (Minor)

What is your best first year memory? 

In first year, I was a student at Langara College. When I transferred to SFU, my best memory from my first semester was meeting new friends and becoming a part of the SFU community.

Find out more about Manisha...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

I would advise to get involved in a club or group that best interests you in addition to attending lectures. I think that getting involved within your school community is very important and makes a students experience at university that much more enjoyable. Make the best of your time at SFU!

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

One interesting thing about me would be that photography is my most enjoyable hobby. I also play soccer and enjoy to sing. Music is a huge passion of mine aside from photography.

Shaquilla Johnson: Criminology and Psychology (Joint Major)

What is your best first year memory?

Living on residence! I got a late acceptance so I didn't have a choice in selecting where I would stay, but I'm happy about that. Even though I was nervous about living on a co-Ed floor, my floor mates were super nice and outgoing. We all became friends that year and two years later, we still say hi and chat when we see each other on campus.

Find out more about Shaquillia...

How are you involved on campus?

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

It's okay to be nervous about starting this part of your life because of how everyone emphasizes getting a degree. However, always think about how you'll feel when you look back on your experience at SFU. This isn't just a university to receive an education, but also a place to make really awesome memories. So get involved! Find a hobby that you like and join that club or volunteer! Secondly, read the syllabus for every class and figure out if there are conflicting due dates because you can either plan accordingly, or speak with a professor about extending a due date.

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I constantly say sorry (I think more than what  is expected from a Canadian haha). I will say sorry for something I didn't even do or had no part in doing.

Tanveer Omar: Psychology (Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I trained in muay thai for seven years!

How are you involved on and off campus? 

Find out more about Tanveer...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Always ask for help, as the worst thing you can do if you are struggling is try to keep it to yourself. Also don't be afraid of approaching people and making new friends, as it makes the university experience a lot more memorable.

What is your best first year memory? 

Just making lots of new friends living in dorms and hanging out!

Lorna Dawa: Psychology (Major) 

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I'm a comedy fanatic and can drop some serious jokes, most of which are inspired by British late night comedy.

Find out more about Lorna...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Be wiling to learn outside your area of interest. Even if it does not fall into your career plan, its always rewarding to have an open mind. You may be fascinated by courses you never thought would benefit you.

What is your best first year memory? 

In my first year here I got hopelessly lost in the RBC building. I spent over 30 mins just walking around in circles and couldn't gather any bearings. I was too frantic to ask for directions, but eventually bumped into another girl walking around and she immediately asked ME for directions. It felt so amazing just to know that we were in it together!

Adrienne Khaw: Psychology (Major)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I have a first dan black belt in Shotokan Karate! I started when I was around 8 or 9 years old, and attained my black belt when I was 16 years old.

Find out more about Adrienne...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Get involved and try to meet new people! A whole world of opportunities opens up once you decide to step out of your comfort zone.  Also, make sure to study hard and keep up with the workload. Establishing a good work ethic and solid study habits early on will help you throughout your university career.

How are you involved on and off campus?

What is your best first year memory?

I was not a particularly disciplined student in high school; however, I decided to pull my socks up and study hard once I started at SFU. One of my best memories was seeing all the hard work and dedication pay off by the end of my first year.

Astrid Hin Wong: Psychology (Major), Learning and Development Disabilities (Minor)

How are you involved on campus?

Find out more about Astrid...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Stay on campus beyond lectures and go explore SFU with new friends, participate in free fitness classes and campus events, and take your time studying what you’re interested in and passionate about learning. Hang out with people that make you happy, ask friends to join you for lunch, and register for more classes together! Get the most out of your degree by getting involved on campus to create memories outside of studying and stressing over classes. Most importantly, remember to find your balance, take care of your well-being, and have some fun!

What is your best first year memory?

Early during my first semester, I was waiting outside one of the large lecture halls in the AQ for a class to begin. I remember someone was standing really close to me, so I forced myself to ask if she was in the class, and found out she was a transfer student just like me. She introduced me to a friend she met the week before and since that day, we’ve formed an amazing friendship!

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I speak a language called Spachinglish with my family, which is a combination of Spanish, Chinese, and English. When I speak to other people in either Spanish or Chinese, I can’t tell which language certain words are unless I stop and think about it.

Brittany Lasanen: Psychology (Honours), GSWS (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect? 

I got my first cell phone last summer!

How are you involved on campus?

Find out more about Brittany...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Get as involved as you can as soon as possible. There are opportunities to join department student unions, activity groups, and research labs that may align with your interests and provide you with the opportunity to explore your options. These practical experiences can make tough decisions, such as what career you want to pursue, much easier. More importantly, these activities will help you establish friendships that can make your time on campus more enjoyable and help you to develop connections that can benefit you in the future.

What is your best first year memory?

Taking Dr. Lucas Crawford’s Gender and Popular Culture GSWS course. This was the first GSWS course I had taken and Dr. Crawford was an engaging and personable professor.  I expected to only complete a psychology major at SFU but because GSWS made me question how I thought about the world and reconsider my own perspectives, I decided to extend my studies and minor in GSWS.

Sociology

Tira Pati: Sociology (Major), Social Justice (Certificate)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I love children!

What is your best first year memory?

All the new friends I made!

Find out more about Tira...

How are you involved on and off campus?

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

First, know you are not alone. Second, pause and take a breather. Third, SFU has resources, Google them!

Sophie Fujii: Sociology (Major), Criminology (Minor)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I did theatre for 4 years and despite coming across shy I do not struggle with public speaking at all.

How are you involved off campus?

  • Bath and Body Works

Find out more about Sophie...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students? 

Speak up in class! University welcomes different views whether they are the majority or minorty, right or left - for the most part there are no wrong answers. You will not be penalized or made fun of, it's a great way to remember content and be noticed by a professor!

What is your best first year memory?

One of the second sociology classes I ever took solidified my passion for the discipline, it was a media class where we talked about the show Greys Anatomy and I was the only one who got full marks on the midterm because of my knowledge of the show!

Tehreem Javaid: Sociology-Anthropology (Joint Major), Education (Minor), Social Justice (Certificate)

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I love watching & playing cricket! (regardless of how much I'm no good at it lol)

How are you involved on campus?

Find out more about Tehreem...

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Don't give up!!! In my first semester of University I dropped out because of the overwhelming amount of coursework and I had no one to push me through it. Make sure you stay connected with your peers and take all the support you need from them and professors!

What is your best first year memory? 

Transferring to SFU was very different and terrifying, therefore I always found it difficult to navigate my way through campus. My favorite memory from my first semester at SFU would be continuously getting lost on my way to classes and coincidently running into the same people 3 times in a row for directions! regardless of the embarrassment, I made great friends that semester!

 

 

Sydney Welch: Sociology (Major)

How are you involved on campus?

One interesting thing about you other's wouldn't expect?

I am a high-end Recorder player!

Find out more about Sydney...

What is your best first year memory?

When I first started at SFU, I joined the Sociology and Anthropology Student Union. It was really fun and we had lots of support from fellow students. At the end of the first term, after exams had finished, we all went out for Karaoke and bubble tea! We got lost in Metrotown! It was so much fun though!

What are some words of advice you would give to new students?

Be open-minded! Be willing to get involved - join a club, find something that interests you and go for it! Dont be afraid to ask for help - we were all once in the same boat!