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The Connections Program is a mentoring program offered by the Slutzker Center for all new international students. It connects current Syracuse University students (mentors) with new international students (mentees) just arriving on campus.  The mentors are experienced students who can give advice about important topics to new students, such as settling into Syracuse, living with a roommate, opening a bank account, meeting new friends, connecting with professors, and balancing academic work!

Fall 2018 Mentor Profiles


Name: Szu Chia Shen

School: Whitman

Major: Finance and Supply Chain

Language: English, Chinese

My name is SzuChia Shen (Vivian), I am majoring in Supply Chain in Whitman. I was born in Taiwan but grow up in Shenzhen. I speak mandarin and English. I applied to mentor program because I want to help new students quickly settling down, engaging in SU community, and making them feel like home. I understand how difficult it is to adapt to the new environment and build relationship with students and professors. I would like to make friends with you, so don't hesitate to talk to me.



Name: Manvi Upadhyay

School: Art & Science

Major: Biotechnology and Forensic Science

Language: English, Hindi

Life is too short to be able to experience everything first-hand but nevertheless, it is also important to experience everything or as much as possible. So, one way to do this is to by learning from second-hand experiences And I want to help people achieve that. I want to share my experiences in life which may be able to help people with your future experiences. I hope to do this by being a mentor. 

जीवन पहले सब कुछ अनुभव करने में सक्षम होने के लिए बहुत छोटा है, फिर भी, सब कुछ या जितना संभव हो अनुभव करना भी महत्वपूर्ण है। तो, ऐसा करने का एक तरीका दूसरे के अनुभवों से सीखना है और मैं लोगों को इसे प्राप्त करने में मदद करना चाहता हूं। मैं अपने अनुभवों को जीवन में साझा करना चाहता हूं जो आपके भविष्य के अनुभवों वाले लोगों की सहायता करने में सक्षम हो सकते हैं। मैं एक सलाहकार होने के द्वारा ऐसा करने की उम्मीद करता हूं।


Name: Fengzhang (Marie) Wang

School: Falk

Major: Child and family studies, German

Language: English, Chinese

Born and raised in a seaside town (Qingdao, China),  a part of my personality echoes with sunshine and breeze: optimistic, warm and sincere. I love meeting people from various parts of the world and enjoy the process of getting to know each other. As a mentor, I am a patient person who is wiling to hear and provide help if needed. As a friend, I am a funny one who gets a sense of humor that could cheer people up when they are down.

Ich komme aus Qingdao, eine schöne Stadt ans Meer von China. Ich freue mich, die Leute aus verschiednen Ländern und Kultur kennenzulernen. Als Mentor bin ich eine Person, die Sie um Hilfe bitten können. Als Freund bin ich nett und positiv mit einem Sinn für Humor. Sprechen Sie mit mir, wenn es Ihnen nicht so gut geht. Ich bin hier, Ihnen mit Rat und Tat zu unterstützen!



Name: Ladin Bacakoglu

School: Maxwell

Major: Political Science and International Relations

Language: English, Turkish, German

I am Ladin, junior in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, majoring in Political Science and International Relations. I am from Izmir, Turkey. Listen to all types of music, but love rock music. Love sunny and hot weather! Despite my clumsiness, I am passionate about Theater and Dance, especially Salsa and Bachata. Despite my fear of seaweed, I love windsurfing. Apart from performing arts, I love art of cooking. Trying a new food is one of my hobbies. However, I don’t change Turkish food to anything. My motto is Carpe Diem and I am full of passion! Welcome to Orange Fam!!

Merhaba, ben Ladin. Maxwell’de üçüncü sınıf öğrencisiyim. İzmir’den gelmiş olup yaza sıcak kışa yağmurlu diyenlerdenim ve bir İzmirli olup ufacık bir karda sevinenlerdenim. Deniz, kum, güneş, Şebnem Ferah, kumru, ayran ve bendeniz. Syracuse’a hoş geldiniz!


Name: Alaba Danagogo

School: Art & Science

Major: Biology

Language: English, French

When I first came into SU, having my own mentor made a huge difference. It showed me how great it felt to have someone who is prepared and willing to support you in a completely new environment.  I didn’t come in thinking that I would end up as a mentor, but somehow these things happen. I am excited to encourage you and help you navigate SU in the smoothest way I can provide. Plus, I’d happy to be your wise, supportive and super-cool friend!


Name: Xiuqi (Tina) Chen

School: Engineering & Computer Science

Major: Computer Science

Language: English, Chinese

Hey guys! You may feel excited, nervous, afraid or even miserable as being a freshman. I have the exactly the same feelings! That’s why I’ m here. I’m here to help, guiding you to enjoy your first-year college life! Don’t be afraid of asking, no matter it’s academic problems or everyday issues. Even if you have nothing to complain or worried about, we could chat or hang out. Although this is my first year to be a mentor, I have confidence to do well.  Come! Join us! Welcome home!

大家好,很高兴在雪城见到你们呐。 以后无论在学习上还是生活上有任何问题你们都可以来找我来聊!千万别迷茫!当时我大一的时候就很庆幸加入了connection program 让我觉得有依靠的感觉! 所以你们加入了以后也可以感同身受——对雪城更了解,对功课更有自信,对生活保持热情。虽然这儿冬天很冷很长,但还是需要有一颗温暖的,积极向上的心!雪城虽然不大,是个“村”,但是呢downtown还是有些好玩的好吃的的,到时候我们可以一起去啊。欢迎你们加入!


Name: Marc Geandreau

School: Newhouse

Major: Public Relations

Language: English, French, Chinese,

I applied to become a mentor as I believe through my experiences adapting in my freshman year, I hopes to help any freshman who may be struggling as he or she navigates through the same transition by sharing my personal experiences. In my free time I like to travel the world and is avid sports fanatic, with particular emphasis on MMA, boxing and baseball. Feel free to contact me through email or any forms of social media!


Name: Qihui (Allie) Mu

School: Art & Science

Major: Economics, psychology

Language: English, Chinese

Hi folks! I’m Allie, a girl from Xi’an China. I moved to US when I was fourteen and went to a small high school in Connecticut. Though dealing with homesickness can be rough, I will always be here for you. People say that I’m very outgoing so you will never get bored spending time with me. I am motivated to be a mentor. Knowing that my opinions will be helpful for other people makes me want to dedicate to this as much as I can. I will see you in August and best luck to your freshman year!



Name: Ziqing Fu

School: Whitman

Major: Accounting

Language: English, Chinese

It’s my first time been a mentor, but it doesn’t affect that I wish to meet you and introduce our friendly community to you! The reason why I want to be a mentor is I used to be helped a lot in this program. I studied in the school of art and science before, but I transferred to Whitman school of management at the end of my freshman year. My mentor guided me and gave me a lot of support at that time. At the same time, we became very good friends. Welcome to talk to me if you have any questions about studying or living in Syracuse. I’ll try my best answering you!



Name: Eduardo (Eddie) Ody Nedel

School: Art & Science, Maxwell

Major: Economics, Applied Mathematics

Language: Portuguese, Spanish, English, German

I am passionate to be a mentor because I want to guide the new students to have the most successful experience in SU as possible. I want to help the new international students to fulfil their goals and reach their objectives with proper help and with someone they know they will be able to rely on. Being a mentor also gives me the opportunity in helping my community, and providing me the ability of learning from different cultures as well.

Meu nome é Eduardo Ody Nedel, eu estudo economia e matemática aplicada na Maxwell School e no College of Arts and Sciences. Eu sou do Brasil e falo português, espanhol, inglês e alemão.

Eu sou escolhi ser um mentor, porque eu quero orientar os novos alunos a ter a experiência mais bem-sucedida em SU possível. Eu quero ajudar os novos estudantes internacionais a cumprir seus metas e alcançar seus objetivos com a ajuda adequada e com uma pessoa que eles sabem que serão capazes de confiar. Ser um mentor também delega-me a oportunidade de ajudar a minha comunidade, e me fornecendo a capacidade de aprender com diferentes culturas do planeta inteiro.


Name: Sonia Wee

School: Newhouse

Major: Undeclared

Language: English, Chinese

If not for Sonia Wee’s romanticized version of New York, she’d still be in sunny Singapore. Nonetheless, she’s proud to call Syracuse University her home away from home. She is a sophomore studying Television, Radio and Film at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She also prides herself on being fluent in English and some Chinese, but remains coping with Spanish. Sonia hopes to inspire her fellow mentees to be their most confident and crazy self. Navigating America can be a little tricky, but it’s a challenge worth the time. For more info: Sonia is a proud owner of eight stuffed sloths, a few too many yellow sweaters, and most Jane Austen collectables. She is also constantly stressing out over the new Instagram algorithm, crazily dancing to the La La Land soundtrack, and actively trying not to burn the food she puts in her Crock-Pot.


Name: Keqin Wang

School: Art & Science

Major: Undeclared

Language: English, Chinese

I come from Xiamen, China. I’m very excited and passionate about being a mentor, and I’m looking forward to guiding and helping the new students who are either familiar or unfamiliar with the life of studying away from home. Just like you all, I’m an international student here at SU, and I have been studying in the U.S. for over three years, so I truly understand how does studying alone away from home feels like. Also, I believe I can guide you with my own experiences of how to shift gears smoothly, involve in school activities, enrich life in the college and so on.

大家好,我的名字叫做王克勤。(没错!就是唱红日的李克勤的那个克勤)。我来自厦门(没错!就是抖音上那个土耳其大叔卖冰激凌的鼓浪屿的厦门),我已经在美国待了三年半(美高两年半加上大一一年),所以我相信我能够用我自己的经历和经验来帮助你更好地从无论是美高还是国内高中的生活中进入到美国大学的生活中来。无论是思乡、室友关系、或者选课、学习方面的问题,我以及Slutzker Center的老师和同学们都会尽全力帮你协调好、解决好的!


Name: Daniel Oluwalana

School: Engineering & Computer Science

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Language: English, Yoruba

Mechanical Engineering has always been dream major and I'm ecstatic to be studying it here at Syracuse University. I love basketball: my favourite team is the Cleveland Cavaliers. I'm almost inseparable from my saxophone—I have been playing it for eight years. Last year, while I was a freshman , my mentor in the Connections program proved to be an amazing resource in helping me adjust to college life. That’s why I believe being a mentor will give me the opportunity to reciprocate this and help incoming international freshmen acclimate to the American culture, especially the Orange culture.


Name: Yuan-Hsuan (Dorothy) Fang

School: Newhouse

Major: Public Relationship

Language: English, Chinese

Hello! My name is Dorothy Fang, I am an international student from Taiwan. I am currently in S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications majoring in Public Relations. I have been to 7 different school throughout my academic career and had mastered my skills in adaptation. As a mentor, I look forward to be an influencer, a liaison and a friend. I hope I could be as resourceful as I can be and introduce you to all the fun and network worthy student organizations where you explore your passion, establish your ‘Cuse network and find your home away from home. I want to be a friend that does not only mentor you academically but also provide you emotional support when needed. I am really excited to meet you all and welcome you to this Syracuse family!


Name: Wenwen (Erin) Qiu

School: Newhouse

Major: Television, radio, & film, psychology

Language: English, Chinese

I have been in America since my high school year, and right now is my seventh year. I had a mentor who helped me a lot in high school when I barely spoke English, and she even became my friends later for years. I was inspired by her, and want to reach out to help other international students who are coming to the U.S. for the first time. I would do my best to answer any questions you have. Frankly, I really recommend you regard me as a friend instead of someone who is just assigned to help you.



Name: Yuxin Ma

School: Art & Science

Major: Economics & International relations

Language: English, Chinese

I am a person of versatile tastes. I like to watch anime, listen to music, handcrafted, draw and so on, though none of them is what I am good at. My friends are basically older or same age as me. Therefore, I am looking forward to communicating with and becoming friends with "young" people. I think I am a very patient person, and I am also very enthusiastic. If you are having difficulties, I will do my best to help him.



Name: Zar Nigar Ahmad

School: Engineering & Computer Science

Major: Aerospace Engineering

Language: English, Arabic, Urdu

I am really passionate about being a mentor and helping the new incoming international students in any way possible. I would like to make sure their transition into college life is as easy as possible. College is about working hard academically but also having a good time, and I would like to help the new students enjoy their time here at Syracuse rather than worrying about small issues that I can guide them through. I am looking forward to the coming semester, meeting new international students and helping them by being their mentor, friend, guide, tutor or an advisor.


Name: Xuankun Zhang

School: Art & Science, Newhouse

Major: Television, radio, & film, economics

Language: English, Chinese

Welcome to Syracuse, the snowiest city in the United States. I clearly recalled how I was stressed when I first came here two years ago. Fortunately, my mentor from the connective program helped me a lot, and she did well to instruct me adjust myself into the environment here in Syracuse University. I will try my best to help you guys with your lives and studies, so if you are facing any issues, do not hesitate to talk with me. I am not only to be your mentor, but friend. Can’t wait to see you in future.



Name: Dan Zhao

School: Engineering

Major: Television, radio, & film, economics

Language: English, Chinese

Since this is my first time study in a foreign country, I know the troubles you will meet when you start your college life. I will try my best to help you guys with your daily life and your academic problems. I am a easy-going person, and I hope we will become good friends through this program. Also, I am really interested in Hip-Hop dance. I always dance to reduce the pressures I met either in study or life. If you guys are also interested in dancing, I hope we can performance together in one day. Let’s enjoy your college life my sweet mentees.



Name: Yangdi Jiang

School: Art & Science

Major: Sociology

Language: English, Chinese

To me, happiness is to make everyone feel warm with my efforts. There is nothing greater than help others to make me feel happy. Now, as a mentor, I have more opportunities to serve others. When my efforts can help you solve some problems, it's my most satisfying moment. I will do my best to help you quickly adapt to your new college life so that you will not feel lonely when you are suddenly in a new environment. I look forward to working with you and writing this new chapter in life together.



Name: Shuhui (Yvonnex) Yang

School: Art & Science

Major: Economics, education

Language: English, Chinese

I am an outgoing and positive person! I have a plenty of study and living experience at Syracuse University. As a senior, I hope I can help everyone who is new here transition into Syracuse University community successfully. I also hope you can have a wonderful time of study and living experience here!!



Name: Boyang (Aby) Feng

School: Whitman

Major: Marketing

Language: English, Chinese

A mentor's help is not only provided as a guidance when you're confused by your path lying ahead, but can also be your key to the lock that you don't how to open on your own. So when problems hit, no worries! We once were there as fresh as you guys are right now. We are here to make a difference.



Name: Yuqing (Ivy) Zhang

School: Whitman

Major: Economics

Language: English, Chinese

I feel, touch, smell, hear, and taste the life at SU. I will teach you what I know and, more importantly, guide you to discover and explore your potential here. This is college. 



Name: Anushruta (Anu) Neupane

School: Falk

Major: Public Health

Language: English, Nepali

My experience as an international student all the way from Nepal has taught me a lot of different things. After spending two years in Syracuse, I have come to understand and acknowledge all the things I should’ve done for a better transition, along with all the things I did that helped me with my transition and accomplishments. Being a mentor will allow me to share the knowledge I have derived after enduring challenges as an international student and hopefully make their transition smoother and easier. 

Timiharu ko mentor ko roopma ma timiharulai maile antarashtra bidhyarthi bhayera sikeka kuraharu ko barema jankari dinchu. Aasha garchu ki mero anubhav timiharu sanga baatera ma timiharulai dherai madat garna saku.


Name: Xuanheng (Kevin) Hao

School: Whitman

Major: Accounting

Language: English, Chinese

College life can be adventurous and splendid. As mentors, we can be both listeners and guidance and give you hands through every aspect of your life, to overcome the difficulties and to explore a most memorizing freshmen year in SU.