As we start the new school year, we want to be sure our students have access to all the resources to help them be successful in the (virtual) classroom. One way Schmid students can find support is through their peer advisors!

Peer advisors are current students who can help their peers with four-year plans, class planning, and other academic advice. We asked your peer advisors for their biggest piece of advice and a fun fact about themselves – get to meet them below!

Meet the Schmid College Peer Advisors

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

shun katoShun Kato (

A big piece of advice I have for the incoming students is to not let being behind a screen take away from their freshman year experience. Obviously, this is not the semester we were all hoping for, but I also know that Schmid faculty, upperclassmen mentors, and student organizations are doing everything they can to connect with the incoming students and help with their transition from high school to college. Freshman year is the time to meet life-long friends, mentors, and people that will look out for you during your undergraduate journey, so don’t be afraid to reach out to professors, classmates, and upperclassmen in your zoom classes or student organization meetings. We are all here to help, and no one will take you the wrong way if you message them saying hi or just introducing yourself! Be bold, step out of your comfort zone, and most importantly have fun with everything!” 

A fun fact about Shun is that he has scrubbed in on a tumor removal surgery during his time as a scribe last summer! 


Ashley Nichols ( nichols

Don’t be afraid to try new things!! You never know what passion or new career path you may uncover.”

A fun fact about Ashley is she did research to investigate how breast cancer patients can become resistant to cancer therapeutics.





Biological Sciences

tori erickson

Tori Erickson (

I would advise students to not hesitate to get involved in the things that interest you regarding extracurriculars or even academically. I feel that getting involved in an academic program that excites you, whether it be a prestigious club, program, or research lab, can help you become a better student and make the process more fun. Also, getting involved in an extracurricular activity will help your mental health and help you develop as an overall person!” 

A fun fact about Tori is that she was vegan for an entire year!




emma kocikEmma Kocik (

You don’t have to have it all figured out. College is the time where you finally get to explore your passions, make connections, meet friends, and figure out who you want to be. I encourage you to continuously push yourself out of your comfort zone. Answer that question in your Zoom class, go to office hours, explore that new field, apply for that position, check out that club, and find your tribe. These years move by so quickly and you will never regret the failures, only the chances you didn’t take.” 

A fun fact about Emma is that she is planning on pursuing a career in oceanography research. Her top career bucket list item involves getting to do Polar climate work in Antarctica or Greenland!



Environmental Science and Policy

maddie_milla Maddie Milla (

“Despite being virtual, take advantage of every opportunity presented to you. Some examples are going to your professor’s office hours even if you don’t have questions about the course, attending virtual seminars or conferences, and using the career services available to you like setting up an appt. with Leanna Izen’s to help with your resume, CV, etc. Remember that above all and before being a student, you are a person. Take care of yourself (i.e. doing yoga, getting a good night’s sleep, getting off social media for a bit, etc.). Take big deep breaths, and take everything one day at a time. Finally, don’t forget to ask for help, there’s no shame in that. Self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary.” 

A fun fact about Maddie is that she is a first-generation college student, which means she’s the first in her immediate family to attend college, and soon enough be the first to graduate college, and maybe even be the first to attend grad school!



mya_macrae Mya MacRae (

My advice for new students is to reach out to one or two people in each of your classes to get their contact info. You never know when it will come in handy for a quick clarifying question or a reminder of what is due next class!” 

A fun fact about Mya is that she was a figure skater for 12 years before she came to Chapman!






lorryn mccaig Lorryn McKaig (

Always keep an eye out for new opportunities. One way to do this is by paying attention to Chapman’s announcements and newsletters, many of which already go straight to your email each week. If something interests you, it never hurts to find out more!” 

A fun fact about Lorryn is that she studied abroad at a university that looks like Hogwarts!