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Transfer Student Peer Advisors

Transfer Student Peer Advisors (TSPAs) are a resource for incoming transfer students making the transition to the diverse academic, intellectual, and social culture of the University of Virginia. Enthusiastic, approachable, and knowledgeable about University resources, TSPAs are here to support you in your new journey at UVA!

Aleena Haidari
Charlottesville, VA
A&S
Aleena Haidari
Aleena Haidari

Peace everyone! Congratulations on getting accepted to UVA and calling Charlottesville your home for the remaining of your undergrad years. My name is Aleena Haidari and I’m starting my first semester of fourth year. I’m majoring in Global Development Studies with a concentration in Middle East and South Asia as well as minoring in History. I transferred to UVA mid-year from Piedmont Virginia Community College and I know to the extent of my experience how challenging it is to transfer to another school. Knowing this, I’m certainly open to helping any of you during your journey here at UVA and making your transition as smooth as possible. At UVA, I’m involved with the Multilingual Outreach Volunteer Effort (MOVE), Charlottesville Alliance for Refugees (CAR), and other organizations. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have and I’m excited to serve as your TSPA for this year. 

Bay Gates
Arlington, VA
SEAS
Bay Gates
Bay Gates

Hey there incoming transfers! My name is Bay and I'm a rising fourth year majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I transferred from Northern Virginia Community College at the Annandale and Alexandria Campuses. I am a part of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a co-ed professional frat called Theta Tau. Both have been very influential and helped me develop to who I am today. When I am not school-ing, you can find me hiking or working at Trader Joe's. I know from experience that transferring into a new school can be very daunting since you have to navigate through new courses, adapt to a new place, find new friends, and worry about personal lives as well. I am here to help you succeed and find your place here at UVA.

Chenelle Williams
Chesterfield, VA
A&S
Chenelle Williams
Chenelle Williams

Hi everyone and Welcome to UVA! My name is Chenelle Williams and I am a rising fourth-year majoring in Computer Science in the E-School. I am originally from St.Catherine, Jamaica but I currently live in Richmond, VA. I transferred from Reynolds Community College after earning my associate's in science with a specialization in computer science. At UVA, I'm involved in NSBE (National Society for Black Engineers), WiCs (Women in Computing Sciences), the SpongeBob Club and She's the First. Outside of classes, I love meeting new people and hanging out in the multicultural center, getting bubble tea with friends and laying on the lawn, and writing poetry. One of my favorite things about UVA is kind and willing most people are to help you. Transferring UVA has been very fulfilling and eye-opening and I'm not only excited to be a Hoo but I can't wait to help you guys find yourself here! I can't wait to meet you all and help you make the most of your UVA experience. Feel free to contact me about anything from classes and internships to where to get the best food on a Friday night. 

Chris Grondin
Andover, MA
A&S
Christopher Grondin
Chris Grondin

Hi everyone, and welcome to UVA! My name is Chris Grondin and I am a third-year majoring in Economics. I am originally from the greater Boston area and transferred to UVA from George Washington University as a second-year. At UVA, I am involved with the Climbing Team as well as the Economics Career Office. I also love talking about anything related to econ, rock climbing, and Boston or UVA sports. Transferring to UVA has been the best decision I ever made and I'm excited to be your TSPA! Feel free to reach out to me through text, social media, or email if you need help with anything! Go Hoos!

Cleve Packer Jr.
Charlottesville, VA
A&S
Cleve Packer Jr.
Cleve Packer Jr.

Hey everyone, congrats on getting into UVA! My name is Cleve Packer and I am a rising third-year majoring in History. I am from Charlottesville, Virginia, and I transferred to UVA from UVA-Wise the summer before my second-year. At UVA I am involved in the Club Tennis Team, Collegiate 100 Black Men, Younglife and a fellow in th Meriwether Lewis Institute for Citizen Leadership. I enjoy hiking, playing any sport and going to restaurants. I know transferring to UVA is a difficult process, but UVA provides great resources for transfer students to help ease you into UVA. I look forward to meeting the next transfer cohort and make your experience a great one. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or just want to meet! 

Elise Wilcox
Vienna, VA
A&S
Elise Wilcox
Elise Wilcox

Hi, and welcome to UVA! My name is Elise Wilcox, and I’m a rising fourth-year double majoring in History in the College of Arts and Sciences and Youth & Social Innovation in the College of Education. I’m from Vienna, Virginia, but I transferred after my first year at Macalester College, a small liberal arts school in St. Paul, Minnesota. At UVA, I’m involved with video production for WUVA, the Young Women’s Leadership Program through the Women’s Center, and research. Transferring to UVA was so worthwhile for me, and I love it here- the academic opportunities, the huge community, and numerous ways to get involved have been the best part of my experience here. One of my favorite things about UVA is its location- there’s so many beautiful hiking trails nearby, and I’m usually outside when I’m not in class. I’m so excited to meet you all and welcome you to the wahoo community!

Emma Shepard
Richmond, VA
A&S
Emma Shepard
Emma Shepard

Hey everyone, welcome to UVA! I am a rising third year majoring in government and minoring (or possibly majoring!) in computer science. I'm from Richmond, Virginia and I transferred from JMU after my first year there. I have ridden horses my entire life but in the past year I have gotten super into lifting and nutrition, and I work at a gym in Cville :) I am so excited to meet you everyone (hopefully in person)-its going to be so fun being involved and I'm ready to help you all as you transition! Feel free to email or text me with any questions or to hang out!

Evan Wade
Charlottesville, VA
A&S
Evan Wade
Evan Wade

Congratulations on your acceptance and welcome to the UVA community! My name is Evan and before I was a Hoo, I was a townie. I transferred from Piedmont Virginia Community College. I enjoy outdoor sports like hiking, fishing, running. I am also a volunteer firefighter and a member of Alpha Chi Sigma. I am studying chemistry with the end goal of medical school. I am here as a resource to make sure your transition is as smooth as possible. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or challenges you have. It is my job to help you on your journey because a year ago, I was in your shoes.

Grace Kye
Virginia Beach, VA
A&S
Grace Kye
Grace Kye

Hi guys! My name is Grace, and I'm from Virginia Beach. I'm majoring in Psychology and hoping to get into mental health counseling or school counseling in the future. I transferred from the University of Rochester in New York my second year. On grounds, I am involved in Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Hoos Connected, WAALI, and OYFA. During the COVID semester, I did classes from home and worked part-time jobs at Kumon and as a sushi waitress. When I do have the time, I really enjoy painting and sewing - but I am always open to new hobbies! It took a really long time for UVA to feel like home, so I understand how difficult transferring can be. Feel free to reach out to chat about anything to make your transition easier! I'm excited to meet you all!

Hannah Alexander
Vienna, VA
SEAS
Hannah Alexander
Hannah Alexander

Hello everyone and welcome to UVA! My name is Hannah Alexander and I am a rising fourth-year from Vienna, VA majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Computer Science. I transferred to UVA from Washington University in St. Louis before my third year. As of now, I am involved in Greek life at UVA, but I plan to engage in more community service opportunities and athletic organizations here in Charlottesville in the future. I know that choosing to switch schools can be a really difficult decision, but I hope that soon enough you’ll find a community within UVA that makes it truly feel like home! I want you to know that I’m here to support you during this transition and beyond, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with anything at all. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have, as well as to simply hang out and get to know each other! So excited to have you all as fellow Hoos!

Jariatu Sta'llone
Haymarket, VA
A&S
Jariatu Sta'llone
Jariatu Sta'llone

Congratulations and welcome to the Wahoowa family!! You must be so proud! My name is Jariatu Stallone, but I go by Jay. I am a rising 4th year double majoring in Chemistry and Philosophy. I transferred from the University of Pittsburgh in the Spring of 2020.  On Grounds, I am involved in Alpha Chi Sigma, Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), and Office of African American Affairs. When I am not in labs or Clark Hall studying, you can catch me in my bathroom dancing to reggae or dancehall music. I absolutely love meeting new people and am always down to explore new restaurants around Charlottesville with friends. There are so many things to do and unique ways to create an impact here at UVA. I am thrilled to be one of the first people you meet as you begin your UVA journey, and looking forward to creating a smooth transition for the Phenomenal HOOS!! With that being said, please don’t hesitate to ask me questions, email, text about anything.  See you soon and GO HOOS! 

Josh Zhang
Ashburn, VA
COMM
Josh Zhang
Josh Zhang

My name is Josh Zhang and I am a rising fourth-year in the McIntire School of Commerce where I am majoring in Finance. I was originally at William & Mary, but transferred to UVA after my first-year. I love hiking in and around the Charlottesville area and would love to go hiking with anyone who is interested! Before coming to UVA, I was really worried about academics and getting involved, so please reach out if you have any questions or concerns about those aspects of transferring. I’m so excited to meet all of you and I know you’re going to love UVA! You can reach out to me via email, social media, or text if you have any questions or need help with anything. See you in the fall! Go Hoos!

Kayla White
Woodbridge, VA
A&S
Kayla White
Kayla White

Hello and congrats on your acceptance into UVA! My name is Kayla White and I am a rising fourth-year double majoring in English and African American studies. I transferred to the University from Northern Virginia Community College, so I am well aware of the daunting nature that comes with being a CC transfer. At UVA I am a member of various clubs including the Black Student Union, the university research magazine Oculus, and the Black Student Research Network. Outside of classes, I love writing poetry in the University Gardens--I would highly recommend taking a creative writing course at UVA, they are very rewarding! Moving to Charrolletsiville was a delightful change from my suburban home town. The food here is phenomenal, the art scene is vibrant, and the music downtown is heavenly. Although everything is (mostly) within walking distance, there is so much to do it almost seems impossible to complete is all! No matter what your interest, Cville probably has a place for you, and I would love to show you around. Again, congrats on joining the Wahoo family! Please do not ever hesitate to reach out for guidance (or if you’re in need of a companion to hit up the Downtown Mall). Can’t wait to meet you soon!

Mackenzie Mastal
Fairfax, VA
COMM
Mackenzie Mastal
Mackenzie Mastal

Hey guys! My name is Mackenzie Mastal and I’m a rising third-year majoring in Commerce. I transferred to UVA from William & Mary the summer before my second year, but I’m originally from Fairfax, VA about 30 minutes outside of D.C. At UVA, I’m involved in Hoothon, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority,  Women’s Business Forum, Marketing and Advertising Association, and Smart Women Securities. Outside of classes, I like to hang out with my friends, cheer on UVA sports teams, stay active, and travel. I’m so happy with my decision to transfer to UVA because I immediately felt welcomed and was (and always will be) so excited to be a Hoo! I’m looking forward to meeting incoming transfers and ensuring you all have just as positive of an experience as I did. Please feel free to reach out to me over email, text, or social media if you have any questions or just want to chat with someone!! Go Hoos! :)

Maddie Mixon
Nashville, TN
A&S
Maddie Mixon
Maddie Mixon

Hi everyone, welcome to UVA! My name is Maddie Mixon and I’m a rising third-year from Nashville, TN majoring in global public health and biostatistics with a minor in psychology. I transferred to UVA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison before my second year. Here at UVA, I’m involved with undergraduate research, Cavalier Daily, and Chi Omega sorority. Outside of school, I love enjoying the beautiful Charlottesville weather on Grounds or going up to Wintergreen to ski. Transferring can be a difficult transition, but the UVA community has made me feel so welcomed and I’m so happy to call Charlottesville home now. I can’t wait to meet all of you and help you find your place here! Feel free to reach out through text, social media, or email if you ever need help with anything or just want to hang out!

Bethesda, MD
A&S
Madeline May

Hey and welcome to UVA!! My name is Madeline May, and I am a rising third year from Bethesda, Maryland.  I spent my first year of college rowing at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, and I transferred to UVA in the fall of my second year.  I am planning on majoring in Economics and Psychology.  At UVA, I’m involved in undergraduate research, Greek Life, and SWS, which is a financial club for women!  I am so excited to meet you all, and I can’t wait to help make you find your places at UVA!  Feel free to reach out at any time to learn about the transfer experience or just to chat!

Maira Asmat
Ashburn, VA
A&S
Maira Asmat
Maira Asmat

Welcome to UVA, everyone! Congratulations on being here and I'm excited to meet you all! I'm a rising third year who transferred from Virginia Commonwealth University and am originally from Ashburn, VA. On grounds, I'm involved with Girls Who Code (really fun, you should totally join!), Sustainability Advocates, and Growing For Change! I've also done a lot of canvassing work and was recently a state delegate. In my free time I enjoy listening to indie music (always looking for new recommendations!), watching movies, and trying out CVille restaurants! I have a variety of interests so I'm sure I'll have something in common with you, so don't hesitate to reach out about anything! I know UVA can be intimidating and I'd love to connect with you guys and build friendships. :) You guys are gonna have an amazing time here, Go Hoos!

Maggie Lynn
Chicago, IL
A&S
Margaret Lynn
Maggie Lynn

Hi everyone, my name is Maggie Lynn and I’m a second-year majoring in Government in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am originally from a suburb of Chicago and I transferred here as a second-year from the University of Pittsburgh. At UVA, I’m a peer facilitator of Hoos Connected, a VISAS volunteer, and involved in Greek Life and the Cavalier Daily. I love exploring Charlottesville and trying new foods. Before coming to UVA, I was really nervous to transfer to a new school where I didn’t know anyone and start over, but I’m so grateful I did. If you have any questions, need someone to show you around Grounds, or just want to meet someone new, feel free to reach out! So excited to meet you all!

Mark Graff
Richmond, VA
A&S
Mark Graff
Mark Graff

Hi everyone! My name is Mark Graff and I'm a second-year transfer from Vanderbilt! I'm from Richmond, VA, and am majoring in Politics. Since transferring I've gotten involved in greek life, the Jefferson Literary & Debating Society, and Club Swim, among other activities. I'm interested in government, politics, rhetoric, law, and movies! I grew up going to UVA games, so although transferring was difficult during a pandemic, I'm so happy to be here. I'm so excited to meet everyone and help you with your journey at UVA, and am always avaiable to answers questions or just chat! 

Mary Kate DeVido
Ashburn, VA
NURS
Mary Kate DeVido
Mary Kate DeVido

Hi everyone and welcome to UVA! My name is Mary Kate DeVido and I am a rising third-year from Ashburn, Virginia, studying Nursing. I transferred in the fall of 2020, at the start of my second-year, from James Madison University. I am currently involved in RUF, a Christian ministry, and when I’m not studying, I love to do anything active such as workout, hike, or play volleyball. I know I was very anxious about transferring, but the community at UVA made me feel so welcome! As a transfer peer advisor, I am here to help make your transition easier! Please reach out to me through text, social media, or email if you need anything at all! Go Hoos!!

Raji Nadar
Falls, Church, VA
A&S
Raji Nadar
Raji Nadar

Hey guys! My name is Raji Nadar and I’m a rising third year double majoring in economics and psychology. I’m originally from Falls Church, Virginia, and I transferred to UVA from JMU the summer before my second year. At UVA I am involved in CHAARG and UYoga, and I also run my own online clothing shop! I’m also plant-based and love spending time with animals, working out, and thrifting. I was definitely nervous about being a transfer student and navigating that transition, but being part of such a welcoming and helpful community made the transition a lot easier. I can’t wait to meet the incoming group of transfers and to help make your experience an unforgettable one. Please feel free to reach out to me over email, text, or social media if you have any questions or just want to hang out!! Wahoowa! :)

Riley Layman
Fairfax, VA
SARC
Riley Layman
Riley Layman

What’s up guys, my name is Riley Layman and I’m going to be a third year in the School of Architecture this fall. I’m majoring in urban & environmental planning and I’m originally from Fairfax, VA. I spent my freshman year of college at Virginia Commonwealth University before transferring to UVA in the fall of 2020. On grounds, I’m involved in the Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group, CHAARG, On the Flo, intramural soccer, and I’m a member of the Delta Zeta sorority. Off grounds, I like skydiving, indoor gardening, reality television, and my cat, Luigi. Not only do I want to help you out with your transition to UVA, but I’d also dig being your friend. Please come to me with questions you have, but don’t forget I’ll be around to chat about literally anything. Don’t be shy!

Sabrina Ghafoori
Gainsville, VA
A&S
Sabrina Ghafoori
Sabrina Ghafoori

Hi everyone! My name is Sabrina Ghafoori and I'm a rising fourth year majoring in Medical Anthropology on the pre-med track! I transferred from Northern Virginia Community College at the beginning of my third year. I am currently involved in the Middle Eastern Leadership Council (MELC) and many other organizations such as the COVID-19 Student Service Corps (CSSC). I am very passionate about advising and helping fellow transfers get involved in the UVA community. I also understand how challenging this transition can be for some and I am here to be your support person! Best of luck and hope to see/hear you all soon! Go Hoos!

Toni Heo
Fairfax, VA
A&S
Seoyeon 'Toni" Heo
Toni Heo

Hello all! My name is Toni Heo, a rising fourth year majoring in economics with a concentration in international economics. I will begin my accelerated master’s studies in public policy at the batten school next fall, and I absolutely cannot wait to be on grounds next semester AND to meet all of you. I transferred from Northern Virginia Community College before the start of my third year. Transferring to UVA may sound a bit overwhelming at first, but you don’t have to worry about a thing. You are going to be surprised to find out how UVA is an incredible community to be part of. When I’m not logged into Zoom and Collab, you can find me playing basketball, ice skating, swimming (or basically every sport), playing the piano, and checking out new restaurants. I will do my best to assist you with adjusting to the new university life and making you feel like UVA is your home. Please do not hesitate to contact me any time. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, listen to any of your concerns, or just chat! Get ready to have a blast, and I look forward to meeting you all soon! 

Stacy Becenti
Barboursville, VA
A&S
Stacy Becenti
Stacy Becenti

Hi my fellow Wahoo! First of all congratulations and welcome! I am so excited to meet and help you with your transition to UVA.  My name is Stacy Becenti and I am a third-year majoring in Foreign Affairs and minoring in Philosophy. I am originally from New Mexico and now call Virginia home. I am a non-traditional student and a current member of the Air Force Reserves. At UVA, you can find me invovled in Student Veterans of America at UVA, Native American Student Union, and Women's Leadership Development Program. I love hiking, visiting museums, taking walks with my yorkie Riley, exploring local vineyards, and meeting new Hoos! I look forward to your messages and questions on how to make the best out of your experience at UVA. 

Utkarsh Jha
Leesburg, VA
COMM
Utkarsh Jha
Utkarsh Jha

UVA! My name is Utkarsh Jha and I’m a rising third-year majoring in commerce and statistics. I am originally from Leesburg, VA and transferred from Virginia Tech after my freshman year. At UVA, I am involved in different clubs like the Cavalier Daily, Honor Committee, and others. Feel free to reach out to me through text, email, or social media if you have any questions or just want to talk! 

Vatsal Bansal
Fairfax, VA
COMM
Vatsal Bansal
Vatsal Bansal

Hey everyone! Congrats on your acceptance to UVA and welcome! My name is Vatsal Bansal, and I am a third-year student from Fairfax, Virginia, studying Commerce. I spent my first year of college at the rival school, yes Virginia Tech, and came to UVA at the beginning of my second year. Here on Grounds, I run a chapter of a global non-profit named Soles4Souls as I combine my love for sneakers with service. Beyond that, I enjoy playing pickup basketball, talking about sports, and learning new things. Prior to my transfer I was overwhelmed regarding adjustment and applying to the COMM school, so feel free to reach out with any questions you might have! I know how tough coming to a new school can be from my own experience, especially during the midst of a global pandemic, so do not hesitate to get in contact with me for anything I can be of help for. I am excited to be a resource for you all, and hope to connect soon!

Zaira Khan
Charlottesville, VA
A&S
Zaira Khan
Zaira Khan

Hi everyone! Welcome to UVA! I'm Zaira and I'm a rising fourth year from Manassas, VA. I transferred from NOVA. I'm majoring in government on a pre-law track, so feel free to ask about anything if you're considering law school! On grounds, I'm involved with The Washington Literary Society and Debating Union, UDems, Habitat for Humanity, volunteering with Madison House, a mentoring program called YWLP, and I am a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Off grounds, I love exploring Cville, trying new restaurants, painting/anything artsy, watching tv, and hanging out with my dog. Please don't be scared to reach out -- I want to get to know all of you! Literally, you can text me about anything at all (even if it's not related to UVA). I can totally give you a tour of grounds, Cville, grab food with you, or anything at all:)