Peer Mentors

Lots of programs offer peer mentoring. What makes BRIDGES mentors different is that each and every one of them started just where you are today. They came to Pitt on a scholarship and decided to join our community to meet new people, maximize their academic performance, and experience Pitt to the fullest. Having been in your shoes, our mentors are uniquely positioned to share the tricks of the trade that will help you get the most out of your education and your time at Pitt. They’re like your well-connected older siblings on campus.
You’ll also have the opportunity to meet with your mentor in small groups during monthly Pitt Stops.

"At Pitt Stops, I could talk to someone who went through the experience of being a freshman in a new world. If I had any problems or got lost for the 50th time, I could talk to my mentor and they would always have a solution (probably because they had the same problems). It was reassuring to realize there were other people who were as lost as me because it made me realize that it is okay to be lost. I have found my way and I’m sure all freshman do sooner or later." -Jonathan Dawlabani, Chemistry



2018-2019 BRIDGES Mentors

Oluwatobi Ajimoko

Oluwatobi AjimokoYou can see my full name above, but you, my dear person, can call me Tobi. I am from everywhere in New Jersey…but I rep Newark, Williamstown, and Nigeria. I am a junior majoring in Economics and Africana Studies, minoring in Statistics. At first, I wasn’t excited to attend Pitt, mainly because it seemed so far away from the bigger colleges I knew and I didn’t know what it had to offer, but being here for the past 2 years has shown me that Pitt Is Lit in all ways. My favorite thing about Pitt is the fact that you can have an idea and see it come to life. I have many friends and acquaintances that here that have started clubs, joined fellowships, and gotten grants for their research and ideas. I think that’s inspiring for others because we tend to think we need to graduate to have our ideas heard, but at Pitt, you don’t. I’m excited to be a BRIDGES mentor because I want you guys to have the best transition possible, and if I can help with that, I’d love to. And remember, make sure to reach out to people when you get here, that’s part of the fun!

Dakota Arnold

Hey y’all my name is Dakota and I’m originally from Greensboro, NC but almost my entire family is from Pittsburgh and a many of them have gone to Pitt! My major is Communications with a minor in Film Studies and anticipating getting the ASL Certificate my junior and senior years. Aside from academics and mentoring I am a Public Relations Co-Chair of The Black Action Society at Pitt and I’m a writer for Pitt’s radio station WPTS. A piece of advice that I would have for freshman is to not try and figure yourself out completely before you get here. Plenty of people (like myself) think that their college experience - socially or academically - is going to go a specific way and it doesn’t, things change (whether it’s majors or social things). You really just need to go with the path that life takes you and anticipate sudden changes, you can learn to adapt, that’s what college is for!

Dara Broadnax

My name is Dara Broadnax and I am a sophomore from Philadelphia, PA. I am a Communication and Africana Studies double major at Pitt with a minor in Political Science. I also have a certificate in African Studies. I am super excited to be a BRIDGES mentor this year and I am excited about all of the great things that we can accomplish together. Pitt is such an awesome place to be because the possibilities are endless. College is full of uncertainties, but Pitt does its very best to ease them. My advice to freshman would be to quickly immerse yourself in the Pitt community, both academically and socially. However, keep in mind that developing good time management skills is the key to success in college. Always network and make connections with others. Never be scared to reach out for help and don’t be afraid to try new things. Looking forward to meeting you!

Timotheus Hinton

Hey, people! My name is Timotheus Hinton and I’m a junior from Rochester, NY. Computer Science is my major and legal studies is my minor. A little piece of advice I can give you is to not be afraid to grow. Go out and explore new places, meet different people, try things you’ve never done before. College is the only time where your sole job is to learn and grow in different facets of life. Take the time to experience everything you can, because you may never have the opportunity to do so in the real world. And don’t stress it if you don’t know where to begin or are overwhelmed. Pitt has a bunch of organizations and resources (like BRIDGES) that will help guide you to success wherever you desire.

Lauryn Hood

Hello, my dear freshmen!! My name is Lauryn Hood and I am from Ypsilanti, Michigan. I am a junior here at Pitt. I am currently a double major in Finance and Marketing with a minor in Spanish. My favorite thing about Pitt is the athletic program. I would suggest attending as many games as possible because you can meet soooo many people there while showing your school spirit (also because they’re lit #H2P). I chose to become a BRIDGES mentor because I want to make the transition for you as easy as mine was. My advice for freshmen is to take advantage of ALL of the opportunities that Pitt has to offer and to get involved in as much as you can. Pitt has so many resources that can help you to maintain your scholarship; however, it’s totally up to you to capitalize on those resources. I advise you all to get involved in as much as you can because when you get involved, your network will grow without much effort.

Rachel Hopkins

Hello! My name is Rachel, and I am a junior at Pitt this year. As a freshman I planned to double major in Psychology and Political Science, but last year I exchanged Political Science for Sociology and added a minor in Social Work in hopes of becoming a therapist. My biggest advice to you is to personalize your undergraduate experience and be flexible in your plans. As a previous pre-law student, I chose my majors based on what interested me, and I found that I enjoyed writing and psychology classes much more than political science, which led me to explore other subjects like Africana Studies, English, Sociology, and Social Work, and changed everything for me. It's important not to craft your experience based solely on what you think you should do. You can be a doctor without majoring in Biology, and you can be a lawyer without majoring in Legal Studies. Diversifying your curriculum is now hugely appealing to graduate programs. Moreover, it may lead you to learn new things about yourself, and self-discovery is one of the biggest parts of going away to college. Welcome to Pitt, and I look forward to meeting you!Hi, my name is Rachel Hopkins. I'm from Telford, PA and am a sophomore at Pitt this year. I plan to double major in political science and psychology and attend law school after undergrad. I decided to be a Bridges mentor to share with incoming students the strategies that worked and did not work for me. My biggest struggle freshman year was staying motivated. It's easy to disregard things like readings and attendance because they aren't always technically graded. My advice to incoming freshman is to stay conscious of your course standings throughout the entire semester and hold yourself accountable. Also, bear in mind that college is a time of immense development across your personal life and career path so it's important that you branch out, socially and professionally. Make connections with your peers and professors, and take advantage of all the resources at your disposal. From them, you gain the valuable advice, necessary support, and impactful opportunities you'll need to succeed. I look forward to meeting you in the fall!

Eddie Lasker

Hello! My name is Eddie Lasker and I am a sophomore from Houston, TX. I am currently a Psychology major and Neuroscience minor, but that’s likely to change. As a Pitt student there are numerous amounts of opportunities to expose yourself to different things. Whether it be sports, art, or music Pitt and the city of Pittsburgh itself have it all! My advice to first year students would be to get involved in things early. College is the perfect time to explore your current interests, and discover new ones. Make the most of your time here so you can leave with no regrets. BRIDGES is here to guide and support you throughout your journey, so definitely reach out to us for help!

Amari Long

Hi everyone! My name is Armari Long and I am from Pittsburgh, PA. I am also a sophomore this year at Pitt, with a major in Spanish and taking the premed track.The most important thing you need to be successful in your first year of college is an open mind. Having an open mind can open so many different opportunities for you, like making new friends, making connections, and receiving scholarships. There are so many opportunities for you to take at Pitt, you just have to have an open mind to what the University is offering you. I know that many of you will spend your first year in the shadows, something I am guilty of myself, but I promise you that you’ll enjoy your freshman year, and years after, more if you get involved early. One more piece of advice I have is to take advantage of the free tutoring available to you, and the writing center, both of these places will help you learn successful studying techniques and writing skills. I can not wait to meet you all, and don’t forget, Hail to Pitt!

Julie Mercer

Hey everyone! Welcome to Pitt! My name is Julie Mercer and I am from Long Island, New York. I am so happy and excited to welcome you, and that you’ve decided to take your next huge endeavor by enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh. I am an upcoming Junior and first-year student at the University’s Pharmacy School. The determining factors of choosing Pitt came with my visit to the campus; it is so quaint, yet warm and welcoming. I’m looking forward to help you along your journey of assimilation into the college lifestyle, hopefully making it as smooth and comfortable for you as it was for me. On campus, I am primarily involved in the BRIDGES Program, the RISE Program, and Rx Talent team of our Pharmacy School. I also work off of campus in at a local CVS pharmacy. Fair warning: the transformation is not easy, but that’s okay! This change is not a familiar one and a unique experience to you and your desires. You WILL enjoy your freshman year, and I hope to help you do so!ey y’all, welcome to Pitt! My name is Julie Mercer and I am from Long Island, New York…yup that’s right, the best state! I’m only (kinda) kidding, but I am so happy that you’ve decided to take your next huge endeavor by enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh. I am a sophomore and, for simplicity, a pre-pharmacy major. The determining factors of attending Pitt came with my visit to the campus, how quaint, yet warm and welcoming it was. I’m genuinely excited to help you along your journey of assimilation into the college lifestyle, hopefully making it as smooth and comfortable for you as it was for me! On campus, I am involved in the Bridges Program, the Rise Program, YMCA Volunteering club/executive board, and Lambda Sigma Honor Society executive board. I also work off of campus in a pharmacy. Bottom line, the transformation isn’t easy because it is simply not a familiar process; everyone has their own experience, but that’s what truly makes you, you. You WILL enjoy freshman year, and I hope to help you do so!

Kristiana Mitchell

Hi! My name is Kristiana Mitchell and I am from Maryland. I am currently entering my senior year as a Computer Science major and Economics Minor. I came into Pitt undecided and through their support and many opportunities here at Pitt, I found my place in the computer science department. My main piece of advice is: speak up! Ask questions, look for new opportunities, and seek help when you need it. Pitt has a lot of resources to take advantage of. Whether it is socially or academically, you can find the place you

Lotanna Ojukwu

Hi, my name is Lotanna and I am a senior from Albany, NY. I am working towards a Neuroscience major with minors in Africana Studies and Chemistry. In my time here, I've come to learn that Pitt is very accommodating. Campus, as well as the city beyond, is teeming with students whose esoteric interests have enabled them to blaze unique academic/extracurricular trails. All the opportunities here and the uncharted waters they create can even cause some freshmen to shy away from taking critical first steps. However, you- the proactive student- will be unfazed. If you get your most pressing questions answered early on, formulate efficient study plans, and strike a nice school-life balance, you'll find yourself on a streamlined path toward your goals. Always hustle to bring your dreams to fruition. 

Morgan Ottley

Hello all! My name is Morgan and I am a sophomore here at Pitt. I am from the illustrious Prince George's County; Laurel, Maryland to be exact. I am currently majoring in neuroscience, with minors in chemistry, dance, and gender studies women studies. Here at Pitt, I am involved in Jumpstart–Pittserves, Black Action Society, Controlled Chaos, Pitt Dance Ensemble, Pre-Med Organization for Minority Students (POMS), and of course BRIDGES. My favorite place on campus is my room because sleep is essential to success. I'd like to personally let you know that you have made a really great choice in choosing to continue your education here at Pitt. My favorite thing about the University is the overwhelming school spirit and the many opportunities to be active on campus. With a little initiative and determination you can find just about any club to suite both your academic and social interests. My advice to incoming freshmen is to be proactive rather than reactive and to choose your priorities wisely. These next four years are meant to explore yourself and the world around you. I look forward to watching you all grow and prosper here at Pitt! #H2P!

Kendra Plummer

Hi! My name is Kendra Plummer and I am a Junior from New Jersey. I am currently double majoring in Psychology and Anthropology with a Neuroscience minor. My favorite thing about Pitt is the overwhelming amount of resources provided for the students on our campus. From the Academic Resource Center (the ARC), where tutors in a variety of subjects can be found, to the Stress-Free Zone in the William Pitt Union, where you can go to take a break from it all. My advice to the incoming freshmen is to never be afraid to ask for help! Myself and the other amazing mentors are here to ensure that your freshman year, and beyond, is successful and memorable. I look forward to watching you all flourish here at Pitt!

Carine Rosenberg

Hi! My name is Carine Rosenberg and I am a senior here at Pitt. I am originally from Los Angeles, CA. My major is Biology and my minor is in Chemistry and Africana Studies. I am on the pre-med track and one day I hope to become a trauma surgeon. My favorite part about BRIDGES is that it introduces freshman to accomplished upperclassmen who have an unfathomable amount of experience under their belt. Also, BRIDGES provides a fun and relaxed environment for incoming freshmen to meet new people. My advice for incoming freshman is to be open-minded, explore Pittsburgh and the surrounding neighborhoods, and ask for help! Go H2P!

Brittany Royes

Hi all! My name Brittany Royes. I'm a sophomore from Rockville, Maryland, but I lived in Pittsburgh for 3 years when the Steelers were in their prime. (that's not why though, but here we go Steelers) I'm a Psychology major with Chemistry and Chinese minors on the pre-med track and I am on the road to getting a certificate in Asian Studies. When I am not working on my extreme course load, you can find me playing rugby for Pitt's club team, or doing something for my honors fraternity. My favorite thing about Pitt has definitely been BRIDGES and all the people I've met and information I've learned because of it. I had a difficult first semester as a freshman, and I am very excited to be a BRIDGES mentor to help anyone else have a smooth transition into college, and just to make new friends that are going to push me to be successful. Can't wait to meet (and study) with everyone! (Go Steelers!)

Andre Sydnor

Hey y’all. My name is Andre Sydnor and I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I am a neuroscience and molecular biology major with minors in bioengineering and Italian. My favorite thing to do in Pittsburgh is try all the amazing restaurants. I love going to Pitt because it has been very easy for me to build whatever sort of communities I want to immerse myself in. I also like that Pitt fosters good professor/student relationships. I have two pieces of advice for any student: (1) introduce yourself to all your professors in the first 2 weeks of school - right off the bat that helps establish a good relationship with your professor, (2) study every single day - don’t skip a single day, even if you have no exams or anything, study as if you do have exams every Friday. Attending Pitt is one of the best decisions I have made and I don’t regret it at all. It is very fun, but when you put in the work, Pitt pushes you to be a better scholar and critical thinker.

Jerome White

My name is Jerome White and I will be a junior at Pitt. I live in Frederick, Maryland and I am at Pitt working on a neuroscience degree on the pre-med track and a creative writing minor. What I think separates Pitt from other schools is the sheer number of opportunities and activities offered for all areas of study and all interests as well. My advice is to work hard, but also work intelligently. Leave yourself time off to relax and make good study habits to cut down on wasted time. Leave no regrets behind here, just get out achieve everything you know you can!

Charis Williams

Hello, new students! My name is Charis Williams, and I plan to major in Biological Sciences with a minor in Spanish and a certificate in Global Studies. Pittsburgh is such a beautiful, lively city. As a freshman, I would advise getting out to see what Pittsburgh has to offer because it is very easy to stay in Oakland. Also, take the time to ask for help by visiting some of the many resourceful offices on campus. The CDPA, Study Abroad, and Honors College all provided me with vital information that contributed to my academic and extracurricular progress. Lastly, take your time to become settled into college. A balance will naturally come, so don't rush it!

Kyle Wyche

Hey! My name’s Kyle and I’m originally from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Currently, I’m a senior planning to graduate in the spring with a bachelor degree in Ecology & Evolution. What I want you to understand about college is that it’s okay to not know your path yet. College is about new experiences and learning what works for you. As long as you have a slight direction I believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

The University of Pittsburgh offers you hundreds of resources which include clubs, programs, and research opportunities that can help you gain experience and tone your skills. I would strongly advise you to step out of your comfort zone, pursue your interests, and don’t compare yourself to others. Another point of advice would be to make connections with professors and people of different backgrounds. If you need help with this, please do not hesitate to ask me. I look forward to getting to know you all, and I wish you a great freshman year!