University of Minnesota
http://www.umn.edu/
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Campuses:

President's Emerging Scholars Program


Professional Staff

Steve Cisneros

Steve Cisneros

HOMETOWN: Janesville, WI
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: I've been at the U since 2002
POSITION IN PES: Program Director
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I love spending time with my family. We enjoy movies, walks, bike rides, and reading!
WHY I LOVE PES: The students, of course! I really enjoy watching our students take ownership of PES and getting involved to make it the absolute best (drops the mic).


Will O'Berry

Will O'Berry

HOMETOWN: Boykins, VA
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: I started working at the University in January of 2013. I've been with the PES Program since January of 2016. I also am a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education track of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development.
POSITION IN PES: Program Coordinator
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I love spending time with my partner, Brian, and our spunky Chihuahua-mix, Frisco. I’m also fond of travel, reading, coffee, MPR, good podcasts, science, classical music, and the outdoors.
WHY I LOVE PES: I love our students and staff. It feels like family!


Miriam Wood Alameda

Miriam Wood Alameda

HOMETOWN: Tijuana, Mexico; San Diego, California.
YEAR AT THE U: 2016, but I've lived in North Dakota for 8 years prior moving to the Twin Cities, this year.
POSITION IN PES: Program Coordinator
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I like spending time with my family and training for marathons. On the weekends, I enjoy trying local restaurants and coffee shops.
WHY I LOVE PES: I love PES because I get to work with amazing students who genuinely believe in helping their peers and achieving their academic goals. In addition, PES is a great program because its professional staff makes work very enjoyable. I am honored to be part of PES!


Joe Zerka

Joe Zerka

HOMETOWN: Ham Lake, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Graduated from the U May 2014 with a degree in Business and Marketing Education and a minor in Leadership
POSITION IN PES: Program Assistant
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I'M NOT WORKING: I spend time with my family, go to coffee shops and play my part in making my Fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc., to make us better than good enough.
WHY I LOVE PES: Our diversity sets us in a category with only a few other programs at the U. The students and student staff play such an important role to make us great.


Student Staff


Leila Aboujouda

Leila Aboujouda

HOMETOWN: Saint Michael, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Senior, Communications
MOSTLY MENTORS: First year mentors
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Visiting my cat, Dudley, snackin & exploring beautiful Minneapolis
WHY I LOVE PES: There is no group on campus as supportive, positive, fun, and genuine as PES. The connections you make in this community are timeless and life changing. PES because it has allowed me to meet amazing and selfless people.


Lina Ahmed

Lina Ahmed

HOMETOWN: Maple Grove, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Human Resources and Industrial Relations
MOSTLY MENTORS: First years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Exploring random places, hanging out in Coffman, or watching Netflix.
WHY I LOVE PES: It's amazing to have a solid group of people to lean on and always be able to go to for help or advice!


Avery Asuncion

Avery Asuncion

HOMETOWN: Woodbury, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Physiology
MOSTLY MENTORS: First years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Getting my nails done, shopping, pinning my life away on Pinterest, and reading books.
WHY I LOVE PES: I get to be surrounded with such diverse and genuine individuals who inspire one another to be amazing, intellectual, and driven people.


Javid Awais

Javid Awais

HOMETOWN: Apple Valley, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Physiology
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Going to the rec, eating, sleeping, chillin
WHY I LOVE PES: Everyone in PES is SWWAAAGGG


Helen Do

Helen Do

HOMETOWN: Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Kinesiology
MOSTLY MENTORS: 1st year Students
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I am sleeping or finding out the latest gossip on the Kardashian’s and Kanye.
WHY I LOVE PES: PES made me feel comfortable and having a place of belonging as I came into the University of Minnesota, without them I would had not made the amazing friends that I have now.


Courtney Earle

Courtney Earle

HOMETOWN: Lakeville
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Sports Management
MOSTLY MENTORS: 1st year Peer Mentor
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: When I’m not studying I’m eating, watching Game of Thrones, exercising, and going out with friends.
WHY I LOVE PES: PES was the first time I felt like I was apart of a community on campus. Some of my best friends are from PES.


Aya Eid

Aya Eid

HOMETOWN: Edina, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior, Physiology and Psychology
MOSTLY MENTORS: First year
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I like to eat a lot, also like to exercise with friends, and netflix all day.
WHY I LOVE PES: I love PES because it was a way for me to find my place on campus and meet some really cool people.


Melanie Featherstone

Melanie Featherstone

HOMETOWN: Hudson, WI
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior, Cinema and Media Culture
POSITION IN PES: Event Photographer
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I love to bike, and recently took a 130 mile bikepacking trip up to Duluth! In my down time I indulge in video games.
WHY I LOVE PES: PES gives students a chance to change their lives. It supports them through their college career and the amazing staff is always cheerful and willing to go out of their way to help you!


Katie Feilen

Katie Feilen

HOMETOWN: Rogers, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore studying Communications, minoring in Sports Management
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Year
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Dance to Beyonce, eat ice cream, and cry while I watch Grey’s Anatomy
WHY I LOVE PES: The people and the program are a 10/10!!!!!


Saul Flores-Lopez

Saul Flores-Lopez

HOMETOWN: Sheboygan, WI
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Business
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Watch TV, work out, hang with friends, go in the hot tub, and play soccer.


Alfred Flores-Mendoza

Alfred Flores-Mendoza

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Child Psychology and Sociology
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Eat and sleep!
WHY I LOVE PES: I love PES because I know that we’re making an impact.


Velma Gesimba

Velma Gesimba

HOMETOWN: Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Third year, Major in Child Psychology and a minor in Public Health
MOSTLY MENTORS: First year students
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I like to take naps, watch Netflix, or spend time with family and friends
WHY I LOVE PES: I love PES because of the diversity, positivity, and warm-hearted group of people!


Chris Haugen

Chris Haugen

HOMETOWN: Plymouth, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior, Elementary Education, Leadership Minor
MOSTLY MENTORS: Second Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I’m usually working out, playing Fifa, playing pretty much any sport, or watching Friends.
WHY I LOVE PES: I love PES because I’m surrounded by people who genuinely want you to succeed in life while encouraging diversity within our community.


Melanie Ho

Melanie Ho

HOMETOWN: Shakopee, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior, Medical Laboratory Science
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Year
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Hang out with friends or family, shop, go out to eat or watch Grey's anatomy.
WHY I LOVE PES: Everyone in PES is really nice and welcoming.


Sarah Hoffman

Sarah Hoffman

HOMETOWN: New Prague, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior studying Strategic Communication and Health Communication with a minor in Public Health.
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Year
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I love to rollerblade around the city, hang out with friends, relax with a cup of coffee and travel.
WHY I LOVE PES: Everyone is so welcoming and genuine. Just being with everyone can make a bad day a good one.


Ahmed Idris

Ahmed Idris

HOMETOWN: New Hope, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Physiology, Chemistry and Leadership Minor
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Ping Pong, Ping Pong, and more Ping Pong.
WHY I LOVE PES: PES gives me the financial and emotional support I need to be successful. PES peeps epitomize diversity and awesomeness.


Dominique Johnson

Dominique Johnson

HOMETOWN: Brooklyn Park, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Physiology, Psychology
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Painting, writing, or binge watching shows on Netflix
WHY I LOVE PES: It gave me a community that quickly turned into an on campus family. I’ve met so many people who have become extremely important to me that I may not have otherwise met on such a large campus.


Axele Kihutu

Axele Kihutu

HOMETOWN: Rochester, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Sports Management
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I play so much basketball, listen to music and dance.
WHY I LOVE PES: It gave me an unexpected first year scholarship and it allowed me to develop myself to become a better individual to serve others and not just myself.


Barnes Kiven

Barnes Kiven

HOMETOWN: Woodbury, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Management Information Systems
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: If I'm not studying, I'm playing rugby, dancing, listening to music and watching Arrow... all at the same time.
WHY I LOVE PES: The wonderful community that PES provides.


Megan Kratzke

Megan Kratzke

HOMETOWN: White Bear Lake, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Political Science
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: When I am not studying I am watching reality tv!
WHY I LOVE PES: I love PES because the people involved are encouraging and always willing to help!



Chue Lee

Chue Lee

HOMETOWN: Saint Paul, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Marketing
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Year
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I watch movies and TV shows on Netflix, I also watch Korean and Thai dramas, I draw, I play my keyboard, I jog, and I take photos for fun
WHY I LOVE PES: PES was the first to welcome me to the University the moment I stepped foot on campus on the first day of school. Everyone in PES are super duper AWESOME, INTELLIGENT, and LOVING!


Dina Lee-Ramirez

Dina Lee-Ramirez

HOMETOWN: Minneapolis, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore studying psychology with minor in art
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Eat, draw, and listen to music with my cats
WHY I LOVE PES: Super awesome group of people and a fun environment to be in. First group on campus where i felt a sense of belonging.


Jess Lettelleir

Jess Lettelleir

HOMETOWN: Rochester, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Biochemistry
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Playing some kind of sport, hanging out with friends, participating in a club, or trying something new for the fun of it!
WHY I LOVE PES: There is this amazing sense of community, loyalty, friendship, care, and (insert other positive words here) that are associated with this program that makes it a great environment to be a part of.



Olivia Marti

Olivia Marti

HOMETOWN: Willmar, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior double majoring in Spanish & Chicano/Latino Studies
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I love to shop, hang out with friends, and watch movies!
WHY I LOVE PES: PES is a family. It’s a community on campus to be around other students and have the support you need to succeed at the U.


Sheila Mendoza Retana

Sheila Mendoza Retana

HOMETOWN: Brooklyn Park, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior, Human Resources and Industrial Relations
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: When I am not studying I enjoy dancing and exploring nature.
WHY I LOVE PES: I love PES because there are people with a variety of experiences and backgrounds.


Jia Mikuls

Jia Mikuls

HOMETOWN: LaGrange Park, IL
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Senior, Biology and Environmental Health
MOSTLY MENTORS: Second year students
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I love getting outdoors, drinking tea and listening to vinyl!
WHY I LOVE PES: PES is the most welcoming community I have encountered on campus. I am continually inspired and motivated by my peers and colleagues in this program.


JP Mishler

JP Mishler

HOMETOWN: Cebu, Philippines / Minneapolis, Minnesota
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Business & Marketing Education / Sophomore
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Year Students
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Dancing, eating rice, Working, Shopping for Acne Studios and Supreme.
WHY I LOVE PES: I made great connections and long term friendships with everyone in PES.


Dylan Motto

Dylan Motto

Wizard Maestro of the Dragon Clan

HOMETOWN: Minneapolis
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Finance
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHY I LOVE PES: PES is a family of unique individuals. It provides a support group like no other for both academics and social life.


Sylvia Mwangi

Sylvia Mwangi

HOMETOWN: Columbia Heights, Minnesota
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Major in Kinesiology and a Minor in Sports Management.
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I either work, listen to music, play tennis or hang out with my family or friends.
WHY I LOVE PES: I love PES because this program is a platform that pushes students to be more successful in their college career and become better people as they continue to strive to fulfill their academic, social and career goals.


Cora Nelson

Cora Nelson

HOMETOWN: Saint Paul, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior, Communications
POSITION IN PES: Event Photographer
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Exploring the city or hanging out with friends.
WHY I LOVE PES: I have made some great connections with the people in the program.


Harrison Nguyen

Harrison Nguyen

HOMETOWN: White Bear Lake, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior, Psychology and Communications
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Meeting new people, Volunteering, Football (Skol Vikings), Gaming, Netflix, or Jamming out to Taylor Swift.
WHY I LOVE PES: I love the PES program because it gives me the opportunity to meet so many unforgettable people.


Myanh Nguyen

Myanh Nguyen

HOMETOWN: Andover
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Market and Finance
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Year
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I like to eat, sleep, and explore the beautiful city of Minneapolis.
WHY I LOVE PES: Everyone is welcoming, nice, and pretty awesome.


Hemant Persaud

Hemant Persaud

HOMETOWN: Richfield, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior (in credits) Sophomore (by heart), French Studies
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Hanging out with family and friends, eating at different restaurants on- and off-campus, relaxing, and planning my crazy life.
WHY I LOVE PES: I met so many wonderful and amazing people who cared about me and my well being such as my PE-YASSS family and my amazing supervisors. PES enables me to make a lot of new friends and feel better about my place at a big University. I feel awesome that I chose a school that not only cared about me as a student/employer and everything that I did, but cares about me as a person.


Tyra Reed

Tyra Reed

HOMETOWN: Minneapolis, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Psychology
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I go out with friends, eat, watch movies, and take nature walks.
WHY I LOVE PES: PES has great students and staff that treat everyone with a lot of care and respect. It is a really great environment to be in.


Rose Simon

Rose Simon

HOMETOWN: Hopkins, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: 4th year - Family Social Science & French
MOSTLY MENTORS: 2nd years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I’m playing rugby, snowboarding or playing with my dog Boo.
WHY I LOVE PES: PES is like my second family! I love working in such a positive and supportive community!


Devona Thomas

Devona Thomas

HOMETOWN: Columbia Heights, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore, Undecided
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: Watch Netflix, Listen to Music, Eat.
WHY I LOVE PES: I have had the opportunity to meet lots of awesome people from different cultures and ethnicities, and I have gotten to make some of my best friends within this program.


Isabella Thor

Isabella Thor

HOMETOWN: Lake Elmo, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Second year, Entrepreneurial Management
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Year
WHAT I DO WHEN I'M NOT STUDYING: Baking, hanging out with my friends, watching movies, shopping, anything that’s fun!!!
WHY I LOVE PES: Everyone involved with the PES community is so welcoming and so warm that I instantly connected and vibed with all the people. PES honestly is an awesome group of people who can even make ice breakers fun (because let’s be honest, we all know they can be awkward).


Katrina Vang

Katrina Baujtshab Vang

HOMETOWN: Oakdale, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Junior; Biology, Society, and Environment
MOSTLY MENTORS: Second Year Students
WHAT I DO WHEN I'M NOT STUDYING: you'll catch me drinking coffee, munching on some good eats, or re-watching all 12 seasons of Grey's Anatomy.
WHY I LOVE PES: PES is my campus home and family. PES has a sense of community filled with support and encouragement. The kind, diverse and tenacious people in this program teach one another to not limit one's challenges but to challenge one's limits, with that the connections I have made through this program has gone beyond the classroom!


Karissa Wright

Karissa Wright

HOMETOWN: Dodge Center, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: Sophomore studying Strategic Communications, minoring in leadership and fashion studies
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I love to shop and explore downtown Minneapolis.
WHY I LOVE PES: PES is such a positive community to be a part of, and all of the support has helped make my experience here at the U amazing.


Samantha Zomok

Samantha Zomok

HOMETOWN: Wabasha, MN
YEAR AT THE U AND MAJOR: 3rd year, Family Social Science, Minors in Psychology & Leadership
MOSTLY MENTORS: First Years
WHAT I DO WHEN I AM NOT STUDYING: I love to read, volunteer and run my student organization FOFAM.
WHY I LOVE PES: PES is like a family on campus. Coming from a small town, PES helped me find a place on campus that has people that can relate to you.




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