New Student Ambassadors

 

New Student Ambassadors (NSAs) are upper-class student leaders who help support new students transitioning to Pitt through the social events and activities they plan and the campus resources they can connect you to. During the summer, NSAs help New Student Programs host our Panther Connect sessions and plan engaging events for Welcome Week. Once the Academic Year begins the NSAs will host regular events on campus as part of the New Student Experience program series!

 

Meet our 22-23 NSA team and keep an eye out for them when you arrive on campus!

 

Rachel Lembeck-Edens | she-her | Junior

Major: Psychology Certificate: GSWS

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA to ease the anxieties of first-year students by providing them with the tools they need to have a successful transition to Pitt.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My best experience at Pitt is being a part of the Days for Girls club. This club helped me make friends and do valuable volunteer work. We sew reusable menstrual products for women and girls in other countries to help fight period poverty.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Familiarize yourself with the many campus resources the school provides, and don't hesitate to use them; they are there for a reason!

Santiago Churion | he-him | Sophomore

Biological Sciences Major, Chemistry and Music Minor

 Why did you become an NSA?

I want to make the transition to college as seamless as it can be! I know the fears of doing well in classes, making friends, and much more and hope to ease some of our new students' fears!

What is your best Pitt memory?

This past spring, I finished all my finals and found a nice quiet place to reflect on the past year. The ups and downs and satisfaction of having succeeded through my freshman year was a great way to end the year.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

The more questions you have, the more answers you will receive. Be open-minded and willing to try new things!

Abby Galeano | she-her | Senior

Biology Major, Chemistry Minor, Certificate in Public and Professional Writing

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA to help other first-year students, as I am a first-generation college student and benefited from the support of the Pitt community. Pitt has a multitude of resources that I would like to share as a New Student Ambassador and serve as a shoulder to lean on.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My favorite Pitt memory was the friends I made in my first-year dormitory, Forbes Hall. I was part of the Innovation LLC, and my best friends to this day are from that floor.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

A piece of advice I have is to not be afraid to ask when you don’t understand something or need help. There are numerous faculty, staff, and students who would love to help you, myself included!

Sara Worsham | she-her | Junior

Communication Science; minor: Linguistics; certificates: Conceptual Foundations of Medicine and American Sign Language

 Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because I want to help other students have a great experience transitioning to Pitt! I felt fully welcomed and included during my transition and I want to make sure other new students feel the same way.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My best Pitt experience was making strong connections and lasting friendships in my LLC residence hall. My favorite memory was going up to the top of the hill with my best friends and looking over Pittsburgh while listening to the new Taylor Swift album.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

College is about learning, both in the classroom and outside of it through the experiences and connections you make. Get involved and don't be afraid to put yourself out there!

Roy Wu | he-him | Sophomore

Computer Science

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because I wanted to promote a more inclusive environment at Pitt. I hope to help new students find their communities or inspire them to build new ones that are accepting and exciting.

What is your best Pitt memory?

Haunted Holland was one of my favorite experiences at Pitt. It was so much fun getting scared with my friends.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Go take risks! Random decisions have created some of the best memories I have at Pitt. Be bold and just go for it!

Cate de Hoogh | she-her | Junior

Major: accounting Minor: economics

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because I wanted to help incoming students with their transition to Pitt. All while growing as a leader myself.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My favorite Pitt memory was when Pitt won the ACC championship and what felt like the whole school on Forbes and by the Cathedral of Learning celebrating.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

I recommend taking advantage of everything Pitt has to offer. If you have a slight interest in something like a club join it because you might end up loving it

Liann Zyontz | she-her | Junior

Natural Sciences Major and a Legal Studies minor

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA to ensure that all incoming students feel welcomed and comfortable at Pitt. My first year at Pitt was during COVID and I want to make sure that as many new students as possible know about the fun activities and helpful resources at Pitt.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My best Pitt memory was playing in the snow outside Cathy with my friends. I remember we were running around playing tag like 5-year-olds and falling on the ground.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Just be yourself! You are all really cool and amazing, so trust that things will work out and you will make friends!

Cynthia Cheng | she-her | Junior

Psychology and Sociology

Why did you become an NSA?

I love to program events and support freshmen students new to Pitt. I enjoy getting to know new people and letting them know all that Pitt has to offer!

What is your best Pitt memory?

Programing events for the Pitt Program Council including Fall and Spring Fest as well as Recreational activities such as the Ski Trip and Horseback Riding.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Get involved in as much as you can so that you can explore new things and narrow in on your interests!

Gary Wang | he-him | Junior

Rehab Science/Exercise Science

Why did you become an NSA?

Coming to the US from China when I was 15, I have been helped a lot by people around me. Now that I have the ability to help others, I want to “pass the torch.”

What is your best Pitt memory?

Hitting the gym with friends and lifting.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Be organized for all aspects of your life. Have a rather fixed schedule and stick to it

Gloria Kehinde | she-her | Junior

Neuroscience Major, Chemistry Minor

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because I had such wonderful experiences with mentorship at Pitt as a mentee. As I continue to grow in my journey, it feels right to try my best to continue sharing the extremely helpful advice with the upcoming New Students.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My best Pitt memory / experience was this past spring, at Bigelow Bash was had Flo Milli performing. I got the front row and I got to say "Flo milli sh*t" into the mic... and then I tweeted about it... and then she retweeted my tweet... Top 10 moment of my life, I think.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Take breaks!! It’s very important to finish your assignments and study for your classes, but don’t work yourself to the point where your mental and physical health begins to decline. You will not be able to do your best if you're not well-rested and mentally ready.

Allison Chan | she-her| Sophomore

Major: Chemical Engineering

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because I wanted to help new students find their community and people.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My best Pitt memory was seeing and meeting Tiffany Day at the CASA (Chinese American Student Association) Mid-Autumn Festival.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

All-nighters are not worth it. If you don't get it by 11pm, might as well get good quality sleep.

Isa Munoz | she-her | Junior

Emergency Medicine Major and Chemistry and History Minor

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because it was a bit difficult for me to find my group of friends and my place at Pitt in the beginning of my college career. I want to help others find their group faster and facilitate in the process.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My favorite experience so far has been my EMT class because it showed me exactly what I wanted to major in and what I wanted to do for my career. I got to do a lot of hands-on activities in a much smaller class setting and ended up finding my major and some really good friends.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

A piece of advice I would give to new students is that they allow themselves to be selfish. Take that one-hour lunch break and take classes you want to take just for fun rather than to fulfill some requirements because that is how you find what you truly love doing and a group of friends that is just as passionate in those areas as you are.

Lainie Hagerty | she-her | Junior

Mathematics Major, American Sign Language Certificate

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because my first year of college was not very good, and I want to prevent that from happening to new students. I also hope to gain useful knowledge and experience for my future career as a teacher.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My best experience at Pitt has been meeting my amazing roommates, boyfriend, and closest friends.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

A piece of advice I have for new students is to put yourself out there. Don't be afraid to talk to new people in your classes!

Kayleen Crawford | she-her | Sophomore

Major: Psychology Minors: Hispanic Language and Culture and Sociology

Why did you become an NSA?

I wanted to be an NSA because I wanted to share my knowledge and experience as a first-generation student and Latina woman. I hope to be a resource for others and be open to answering any questions!

What is your best Pitt memory?

My best Pitt memory is meeting my new best friends and going to Phipps Conservatory to decompress and take pictures.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Your time in college goes by so fast, make sure you take the time to enjoy it and take it step by step!

Joanne Xie | she-her | Sophomore

Undecided (Neuroscience)

Why did you become an NSA?

As an international student, I have received a lot of help, love, and kindness along the process of transiting in both high school and college. So I would love to pass on the love by helping more new students with an easier transition to college as an NSA.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My best memory was chatting and doing homework with my roommate and friends I made on my floor almost every night in our floor lounge and watching movies with them on Saturday nights.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Be positive, be active, and be involved! Don't be afraid of challenges (academic or not), just do your best and enjoy the process (try to get the best out of it, no matter what)!

Sachit Anand | he-him | Sophomore

Majors: Neuroscience and Computer Science

Why did you become an NSA?

The NSA position enables me to provide a sense of belonging for incoming students in an environment they have never encountered before. Also, the position allows me to become a role model and a resource for the incoming students and their parents, guiding them to many opportunities presented at Pitt.

What is your best Pitt memory?

I enjoyed the Speed Friending event from Welcome Week as it allowed me to meet with other first-year students who have similar interests and make friends.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

First-year students experience many unique emotional and practical challenges as they transition to a new environment at the campus. My advice for new students is that if their grades are affected, not panic, but instead take the many resources offered by Pitt to improve, and never be afraid to seek help from their professors.

Sam Kirschman | she-her | Senior

English Writing major, Sociology and French minors, Global Studies certificate

Why did you become an NSA?

I want to help other students access the same range of incredible experiences and opportunities I've had at Pitt.

What is your best Pitt memory?

I loved going to Kennywood with New Student Offices!

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Apply for everything that interests you and unabashedly ask for help when you need it.

Lexi Shainoff | she-her | Junior

Undecided Major, Korean Minor

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because I had started college during the pandemic and didn't really get a real welcome week and wanted to do my best to give others the best experience possible, plus I know how intimidating it can be going into college and not knowing a single person, so I wanted to create and promote a welcoming space for new students to enter into.

What is your best Pitt memory?

It's so hard to choose but one of my favorites is definitely going to the peach bowl with the band. It was so fun to be able to go to Atlanta and explore for a day or so with my friends and then the game itself was very fun to watch and play at. The energy and excitement in the stadium was so cool and I am very happy that I got to experience it.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Going into college can be intimidating and at times maybe a bit uncomfortable since you're likely going outside of your comfort zone. If you can, try to embrace the discomfort. I find that when looking back at memories, I tend to remember the good parts more than the temporary discomfort and by embracing it, I'm more likely to be involved.

Emaline Brangan | she-her | Sophomore

Neuroscience

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because I wanted to welcome new students to the Pitt community as they transitioned into a new environment.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My best Pitt experience was meeting my now best friends during welcome week. Knocking on your hall mates’ doors can lead to lifelong friendships.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Meeting new people and trying new activities are important for growth and will make your college experience even better.

Ebonee Rice-Nguyen | she-her | Junior

Major- English Writing Minors- Political Science and Gender Studies Certificate- Public and Professional Writing

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because I didn't have an ideal freshmen experience and want to ensure that other incoming freshmen are able to make the most out of the experience that they can.

What is your best Pitt memory?

The first days of Spring are always my favorite because everyone is so excited to enjoy the nice weather and it seems like the whole student body is either outside Cathy or in Schenley Plaza.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

I would tell new students that they’re going to feel out of place in the first months and a bit discombobulated. That feeling is normal and part of growing up and going to college but eventually you will find people and activities and the feeling will go away without you even realizing it.

Luke Joynt | he-him | Junior

Accounting and Business Information Systems (BIS)

Why did you become an NSA?

I wanted to make sure no one struggled to belong in college, whether it was academically, socially, or emotionally.

What is your best Pitt memory?

When I first met my roommates in Bruce Hall, right before the semester started, we would explore the city and enjoy the freedom college brought.

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Never be afraid to do something new. My best experiences come from saying yes to new opportunities and welcoming whatever possibilities were ahead.

Amber Honick | she-her | Sophomore

Accounting

Why did you become an NSA?

I wanted to help new students navigate starting their time at Pitt, especially since I had a hard time during my first semester.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My favorite Pitt memory was the UNC Football game. It was a lot of fun since the teams tied the score at the end of the game, and they went into overtime. It started raining, but Pitt won, and I ended up having such a fun time!

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Do not be afraid to talk to other students and try out new activities!

Aishwarya Ponna | she-her | Sophomore

Biology

Why did you become an NSA?

I wanted to give back to the community we have built at Pitt and help freshman have their best experience here. What is your best Pitt memory?

I loved participating in Welcome Week and exploring campus

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Be yourself and manage your time!

Sophie Dunham | she-her | Senior

Classics major on the Greek civilization track with a specialization in Ancient Greek Literature; minor in Chemistry

Why did you become an NSA?

I became an NSA because I wanted to be a helpful touchstone for students' on campus with the perspective and experience of a fellow student.

What is your best Pitt memory?

My favorite Pitt memory was when my friends and I during finals week freshman year first semester played tag in Holland Hall to destress!

What piece of advice do you have for new students?

Pursue what makes you happy even if it doesn't align with your original plan. Life's too short to study something that doesn't interest you.