2016 Summer Start Mentor Staff

Mentor Staff-Challenge Course

Summer Start Mentors

Summer Start Mentors are great resources for new incoming students and provide guidance and support in their transition to NC State University. All mentors are current NC State students, many of whom also participated in Summer Start as new students. Get to know our 2016 mentors!

Samantha Blue, Lead Mentor

Major: Math Education

I’m from Albemarle, NC. I have participated and been a previous mentor in this program. I also am a Resident Advisor on campus. Summer Start is one of the best programs offered at NC State. It helps you with the transition from high school to college and it helps you truly learn your school and fall in love with it on the way. Summer Start helped me make some of my closest friends and get ahead in my classes. I would recommend this program to anyone planning to attend NC State!


Corinne Farrell, Lead Mentor                                                     

Major: Genetics

I am originally from Albany, NY, but moved down to North Carolina when I was 3 years old. Because of my passion of genetics, I chose NC State and have not regretted it one bit. As a Summer Start student back in 2013, I met people that would grow to be some of my best friends. I learned about campus and took classes that let me get ahead. I loved it so much that I came back as a mentor in 2014, which turned out to be one of the best summers of my life. I am very excited for my 3rd summer with Summer Start as Lead Mentor!

 Alexus Morning

Major: Zoology

I’m a rising senior majoring in Zoology and I love animals! So much to the point that I have 12 pets. My involvement on campus has been a member of Global Village, a Teaching Assistant, and a Culture to Culture Ambassador. Some of my interests are watching YouTube videos and playing video games . I had quite a hard time adjusting to college. While it was indeed rocky, the small classes and the friends I made really helped ease my way into the college life. I hope your Summer Start experience is just as awesome or even better!

 Andrew Hillwig

Major: First Year Engineering

I have lived in Sunset Beach, NC for the past six years. Prior to that, I grew up in a suburb just outside Pittsburgh. Some of my hobbies include playing baseball and soccer, going to the gym, and playing video games. My major is currently First Year Engineering with Nuclear Engineering intent, but this will probably change at some point. Nobody from the county I went to high school came to Summer Start, besides me. However, I quickly found a great group of friends I hung out with most of the time. I hope to help anyone that comes into the program leave with the same level of preparedness I had.

 Armando Cardoso

Major: Secondary Science Education

I’m a rising junior from the small town of Oakboro, North Carolina. Currently, I am the president of the GLBT Community Alliance at NC State and am in the process of training to become a group fitness instructor with University Recreation. I do believe that attending Summer Start was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only did I make many friends that I have kept during these two years, but I was also able to connect with many faculty, staff, and overall professionals on campus who will continue to help me in the future. I am very excited to meet all of the new members of the Wolfpack and cannot wait to welcome all of you to your new home!

Shenise Brooks

Major: Polymer and Color Chemistry

I’m a rising junior majoring in Polymer and Color Chemistry. As a Summer START student, I gained the skills needed to be a successful student, leader, and friend. Summer START allowed me to meet some of my closest friends now and without them I don’t know where I’d be in college. Being in this program, helped me to step outside my comfort zone and become something more and I hope to my mentees I can help them break though their fears and do the things they want to do even though it can be scary at first. In addition to being a Mentor, I’m also a Resident Advisor on campus. I enjoy doing makeup, dancing, and listening to all types of music. I’m always up for an adventure and a new challenge.

Carly Newman

Major: Exploratory Studies

I am a rising sophomore from Chapel Hill, NC. I enjoy traveling, reading, Netflixing, and learning something new everyday. Before coming to NC State, I worked as a religious school teaching assistant throughout high school as well as a camp counselor. For me, Summer START was an invaluable experience because it allowed me to smoothly transition into college classes and dorm life while learning the ins-and-outs of campus. I made some of my best friends during Summer START and could not think of a better way to become a part of the Wolfpack community!

Steven Favorite

Major: Electrical Engineering

I am an out of state student from Ridgefield, which is a small town in Connecticut. I decided to come to NC State because of the great engineering programs and the family that I have nearby. Going to an out of state college I knew it was going to be hard to make the transition from home life to college life, so when I heard about the Summer Start program I knew that it would be a good program that would ease the transition. I had a wonderful experience as a Summer Start student. The program helped me be prepared for my first semester by giving me tips about time management and good study habits. It also allowed me to make friends with a lot of students that I still hang out with today.

Shanta Milam

Major: Biological Sciences

My hometown is Warrenton, NC. During my time in Summer START, I had the opportunity to get accustomed to the college life. I met students from all over the world who are now some of my closest friends. I acquired professional connections and I still keep in contact with my former mentor regularly. My ultimate career goal is to attend medical school in order to become a doctor. I have a lot of interests including reading, baking, gardening, running, and cheering on the Wolfpack at our sporting events. I am involved in the Spanish Club and serve as an ambassador for the Culture to Culture Ambassador Program. I am so excited to be a part of the Summer START team and I look forward to using my experiences to help each of you succeed during your first year at NC State.

Emma Stachura

Major: Exploratory Studies

I’m from Durham, North Carolina and have lived there for most of my life.  I’m currently an Exploratory Studies major and came to NC State with uncertainties surrounding which major I wanted to choose. I plan to major in Anthropology, focusing on forensics.  When I first learned of Summer Start, I thought it was crazy and that I would never waste my summer before college in school, but after learning more about it, I knew it was exactly how I wanted to spend my time.  I am very fortunate for the opportunities I had to learn the campus, acclimate to the structure of college courses, and get a head start with making friends. This summer you will find me making delicious Howling Cow ice cream sundaes in the dining hall, hanging out on beautiful days at Lake Raleigh, and in my dorm with my door always open!

Ethan-Cole Evans

Major: Material Sciences Engineering & International Studies

I am a rising sophomore from Mebane, NC. Summer START served as a jumping off point for me to get ahead both academically and socially at NC State that I still benefit from today. I’m currently involved in Caldwell Fellows, University Honors Program, and the Benjamin Franklin Scholars. I also served as a Community Assistant in the Honors Village Commons, a DJ at WKNC, and will be a Residential Advisor in the fall. My main passion is music – I listen to nearly every genre and am rarely found without my iPod and headphones. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends, reading, and exercising.

Kat Robinson

Major: Engineering First Year

I am a second year student at NCSU. I chose to apply to NC State because I have a passion for textiles that developed during a summer camp here before my senior year. Some of my interests include reading a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, writing, and listening to music. When I found out I could attend Summer START, I was excited to get here early to meet people and start classes. I know it was a good choice because I was able to transition much smoother, with more confidence, into life at NCSU. Another major benefit was I got to meet many of my best friends as well as plenty of experienced people who taught me the ins and outs of college life.


Josh Pshock

Major: Communication

I am a rising senior majoring in communication with a minor in parks, recreation, and tourism. I am from Fayetteville, NC and transferred here from a local community college in the fall of 2014. I have been a part of two separate clubs/organizations, volunteered for Athletics, served as an Orientation Leader last summer, studied abroad for two weeks, become a University Ambassador, and worked as an on-campus employee at University Recreation. I hope to pursue a career within higher education and one day be working for a college campus. Personally, I like playing/watching sports, playing video games, riding my bike, meeting new people, and watching TV (well, Netflix). I love being here on campus and trying lots of new things. I look forward to meeting, interacting, and learning about you during Summer Start this year!

Mariah Morrison

Major: Political Science

Hey y’all! I am originally from Winston Salem but currently live in a small town called Laurinburg, NC. I’m a rising sophomore with the intent to go to law school and fight social justice issues. I am very passionate about mentoring and really enjoy working with people from diverse backgrounds and ages. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, watching/making YouTube videos and obsessing over anything makeup related. Last, but not least, Beyoncé is my spirit animal. Summer Start is a great program to participate in because of the sense of community it provides and the long lasting friendships I was able to create. There’s a nice balance between work and play due to all of the fun events Summer Start plans. It is definitely a program that you don’t want to miss out on!

Max Metry

Major: Exploratory Studies

I was born in Montreal, raised in Raleigh, and my family is from Egypt. I have played soccer since I was five years old and I am a die-hard Liverpool fan. I have been lucky enough to travel to places all over the world such as England, Egypt, France, and Canada and love learning more about other cultures and taste their cuisines. My smile has embraced customers at Wendy’s, audiences in local theatres, and younglings at my Coptic Church in Raleigh. My experience in Summer START was unforgettable and the friendships I created through it are as strong as ever. I learned a lot about myself and all the campus has to offer; things that would be very hard to learn with all the big crowds in the fall semester.

Raven Stone

Major: Anthropology

Originally from Florida, I moved to North Carolina with my family when I was 4. I’m involved with University Theater (cast in the production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and work at a diner and the help desk in my dorm. In my free time, I enjoy nothing more than drinking a cup of tea outside and reading a book. My Summer Start experience was exactly what I wished it would be and what I needed it to be. It granted me confidence, brought me out of the shy shell I’d lived in before leaving my small town, allowed me to make friends I see around campus every day, and took the shock of entering a large campus by giving me a community to belong to.

Sandeep Gill

Major: Statistics

I am from Chapel Hill, NC and love playing and watching sports, specifically football and basketball. I enjoy maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. Being from Chapel Hill, I always thought I would attend UNC, but when I didn’t get in, I decided to go to NCSU for two years and then transfer to UNC. Because of my experience during Summer Start, that thought does not even cross my mind anymore. I had never stepped foot onto NCSU’s campus and was overwhelmed with the size of campus and the number of new people I would eventually have to meet. Luckily Summer Start helped facilitate that transition more smoothly than it would’ve been had I started school in August. Summer Start also provided a look at how much time management between academics, friends, and being healthy is crucial towards success in the fast paced college environment.

 Christian Jones

Major: Political Science

Originally I’m from the Mid-West, Nebraska exactly, but moved to Charlotte, NC during elementary school. I study political science and have a minor in Spanish and French, so if you ever want to practice or even teach me a word or two of your own language I will be more than willing to! Currently I plan to graduate in the fall which will be bittersweet because NC State University has been so good to me. Since being enrolled I have earned money, traveled abroad and have been a member of a lot of interesting clubs here at NC State. As a former student, my experience at Summer START was an important foundation to a lot my past endeavors. It is my personal mission that you take away as much as you can from Summer Start so that you can also feel bittersweet as a future NC State University graduate.

William Gothard

Major: Aerospace Engineering

I am a freshman from Fayetteville, NC. I am pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering, and ultimately a career in the United States Air Force. My interests include cars (fast ones), music, fitness, and airplanes. I love spending time outside and hanging out with my friends. I am a cadet in the Air Force ROTC detachment at NC State, and I am highly motivated to become the most capable leader I can be. As a Summer Start participant in 2015, I gained a lot of valuable insight into college life. I learned how to survive the demands of college courses and manage my time effectively. Most importantly, I met my best friends at Summer Start. I would not trade the friends I made and the experience I gained as a student in this program for the world.

Sam LaFell

Major: Communication & Spanish

I love to play guitar, baseball, tennis, and just hang out with friends whenever I can. Who I am now has definitely been shaped in the last year and a half of my life. Summer Start was an absolutely incredible experience for me. I got to meet some of the best friends I’ve ever made in such a short time period. This program was one of the best experiences of my life, hence the reason I have come back as a mentor. I aim to help in making this the best experience of these students’ lives and show them how freedom and responsibility work together in the college experience.

Jazmine Thompson

Major: Psychology

I chose NC State because I love the Raleigh area, and the academic and social environments on campus are second to none. Upon graduation from NC State, I plan on attending medical school in pursuit of becoming a psychiatrist.  Participating in the Summer Start program put me on a fast track to accomplish these goals.  The program not only allowed me to get ahead academically by offering classes to count towards my degree, it also provided opportunities to meet and network with amazing students and faculty.  I loved my Summer Start experience and I hope you will too. I can’t wait to meet you all.

Madison Craft (Mentor for STEAM Program)

Major: Nutrition Science

I am currently a freshman with the hopes of attending medical school.  I come from the small town of Roxboro, North Carolina, but I enjoy traveling and exploring new places.  I enjoy hanging out with friends, participating in sports of any kind, attending as many NC State athletic events as possible, and eating all forms of barbecue.Summer Start was by far the most memorable program I have participated in thus far.  Summer Start wasn’t just about academics and creating a smooth transition; it was about experiencing new, exciting parts of campus.  I felt like I had an advantage coming into the fall and already knowing most of campus and how it functioned.

Stephanie Curri (Mentor for STEAM Program)

Major: Biochemistry

I was born and raised in High Point, NC, but I consider upstate New York home as well because I’ve spent summers there since I was a child. I have two adorable dogs: a black lab named Roxy and a mini poodle named Missy. My plan so far is to graduate with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and then attend medical school. When I do have spare time I like to spend it playing the piano, listening to music (especially Kendrick), and sometimes playing 2k. I signed up for Summer Start mostly because I wanted to go to college as soon as possible (High Point isn’t a super exciting place). Most of my memories include late night adventures, ping pong tournaments, and volleyball. I ended up liking the experience so much that I found a way to return this summer and I couldn’t be more excited.

Ben Malinda (Mentor for STEAM Program)

Major: Biomedical Engineering

I am a rising sophomore who participated in Summer START last year. I made a lot of friendships that are still going strong even after the first and second semester of the regular school year. It was also a great chance to get ahead in classes. I have a dog who is really old but still acts like a puppy and I am definitely more of a dog person than a cat person. I love being outdoors and trying to stay healthy. A couple hobbies of mine are hiking, swimming, and eating, even with the whole trying to be healthy thing. I am really excited to meet each of you and I help you through this transition to college life, just so you know…its awesome.