CNAS Freshman Scholars Program

CNAS Scholar Peer Mentors

Who We Are

Picture of eight CNAS Scholars Peer Mentors standing and sitting by the Scotty the Bear Bench at UC Riverside near the HUB

Our Peer Mentors are a team of highly successful CNAS students who have been trained to assist other CNAS students navigate the challenges of undergraduate life. They are here to work with you through academic struggles, developing success skills, exploring STEM careers, securing research opportunities, and finding other ways to enrich your time at UCR.  

Each of our Peer Mentors is a CNAS student who has successfully completed the CNAS Freshmen Learning Community program. They are all involved in a diverse array of campus programs, student organizations, community groups, and research projects. They have trained to be a source of guidance who can help you find the best solution to the challenges you face.


What We Do

Many studies stress the importance of interpersonal connections for college students. By feeling connected to UC Riverside, you’re more likely to do well academically, get involved on campus, and graduate in four years. Our Peer Mentors are here to serve as that connection. Through regular one-on-one meetings, our Peer Mentors will assess your challenges and guide you to the best information and resources for your needs. 


Why Should You See a Peer Mentor?

  • You want to build a connection with your campus!

  • You’re struggling with your math and science courses!

  • You want to learn more about research opportunities on campus!

  • You want to get involved with student organizations, campus programs, and other enriching activities!

How Do We Join?

All CNAS Learning Community students are welcome and encouraged to connect with a CNAS Scholar Peer Mentor. Students interested in meeting with a Peer Mentor must sign up as a mentee here. Please turn in all applications to Pierce Hall 1223 (the front desk). 

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2016-2017 CNAS Scholar Peer Mentors


Andrew Munoz

4th year Biology Major

Picture of Andrew Munoz, one of the CNAS Scholar Peer Mentors  

  • RISE Scholar
  • CNAS Science Ambassador
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader
  • Future P.I.L.L.S. Pre-Pharmacy Club, President
  • Undergraduate Researcher, Botany & Plant Sciences with Dr. Sean Cutler
  • Intramural Flag Football

Eileen Lek

4th year Environmental Science Major (Concentration: Environmental Toxicology)

Picture of Eileen Lek, one of the CNAS SCholar Peer Mentors

  • Green Lab Team Leader with the Office of Sustainability
  • Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC), Public Health Peer Mentor
  • Undergraduate Researcher, Atmospheric Chemistry with Dr. Jingsong Zhang
  • Queer Association of Asian and Pacific Islanders (QAAPI), Treasurer
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District Summer Intern

Erika Gonzales

4th year Biochemistry Major

 Picture of Erika Gonzales, one of the CNAS Scholar Peer Mentors

  • Undergraduate Researcher, Chemistry with Dr. Huiwang Ai
  • Catholic Student Fellowship, Vice President
  • Catholic Relief Services, President

Krishna Bhalodia

3rd year Neuroscience Major

Picture of Krishna Bhalodia, one of the CNAS Scholar Peer Mentors

  • Dynamic Genome Outreach Group, Treasurer
  • Undergraduate Researcher, Sleep & Drug Lab with Dr. Mednick
  • The Little Gym of Riverside, Gymnastics Coach
  • UCR Archery Club, Public Relations
  • Alpha Chi Omega, Member

Megan Lee

3rd year Neuroscience Major

Megan Lee, one of the CNAS Scholar Peer Mentors

  • Fedor Karginov Laboratory Researcher
  • Mentoring Summer Research Internship Program (MSRIP)
  • Asian Pacific Student Programs (APSP), Peer Mentor
  • HALLYUCR Korean Culture Club, Member
  • Tartan Seoul Dance Team, Member

Paul Medina

2nd year Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology Major
Paul Medina, one of the CNAS Scholar Peer Mentors

  • RISE Scholar
  • Sophomore STEM Fund Student
  • Undergraduate Researcher, Department of Nematology with Dr. Alder Dillman
  • Riverside Community Hospital, COPE Health Scholar Volunteer
  • Katipunan Pilipino Cultural Club, Member
  • Intramural Basketball


Penelope Nwaukwa

3rd year Neuroscience Major

Penelope Nwaukwa, one of the CNAS Scholar Peer Mentors

  • RISE Scholar
  • Riverside Free Clinic, Pharmacy Volunteer
  • African Americans United in Science, Member
  • African Student Programs (ASP), Peer Mentor
  • UCR SRC Club Sport's Manager

Phong Au-Hong

3rd year Biology Major (Minor: German)

Phong Hong, one of the CNAS Scholar Peer Mentors

  • CNAS Science Ambassador
  • UCR Chancellor Research Fellow
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader
  • San Bernardino's Free Clinic, Research Associate
  • UCR Summer Study Abroad (Vietnam)
  • DAAD German RISE Scholar


More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department Information

CNAS Freshman Scholars Program
1223 Pierce Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5326
Fax: (951) 827-2243
E-mail: cnasscholars@ucr.edu