Skip to main content

FYI Peer Mentors

Yensy Aguirre
Undecided, Pre-Med

Yensy Aguirre attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California where she currently lives.  Although she is an undecided major, she is on the pre-med track and wants to major in History.  She is a member of the USC Club Water polo team and is active with Campus Crusades for Christ.  She is also active in her community through the USC Chicanos for Progressive Education (CPE), mentors students in East Los Angeles every Monday and volunteers at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital.  Yensy currently works at the USC Law Library.  This summer she took advantage of the Maymester course offered by USC Dornsife.  Yensy is very happy to have had an opportunity to meet people from all over the world and to experience Trojan football and to explore LA.


Anneleise Victoria Azua
Gender Studies

Anneleise Victoria Azua was born and raised in South Texas and is currently entering her second year at the University of Southern California.  She takes great interest in anthropology and gender relations and fell in love with USC's Gender Studies major last semester, making it one of her majors.  She is also hoping to apply to the Annenberg School of Communication for a second major in Communication.  During her first year at USC, she fell in love with the different organizations on campus and served as the co-chair for "El Sol y La Luna: Special Interest Community," and is looking forward to next semester, when she will be serving as the historian and chapter orientation adviser for Lambda Theta Alpha, Latin Sorority, Incorporated.  Anneleise plans to pursue a career in law or policy planning and cannot wait for what the future has in store for her.


Cindy Barrios

Cindy Barrios grew up in Potomac, MD., the suburbs of Washington D.C.  She wanted to be a USC Trojan like her big sister so badly that she decided to fly across the country to join the Trojan Family.  A rising sophomore in USC Dornsife, Cindy kept busy her first year at USC by living on “El Sol y la luna,” a special interest floor in student housing where she became involved by assuming the position of Public Relations Officer.  While her floor will forever hold a soft spot in her heart, there is one more thing that made Cindy's first year a truly incredible experience.  Cindy joined the greatest marching band in the history of the universe, the Spirit of Troy!  While Cindy had never played a brass instrument before, now she can proudly say that she's one step closer to charming the crowded Coliseum with her trombone. Cindy will continue to sample Dornsife's courses in General Education and Political Science this year to find her passion and narrow in on a major as she balances her hectic but extremely rewarding schedule. Her advice to incoming freshmen simple and glorious: FIGHT ON!


Jim Becker

A Kansas City native, Jim Becker is a Presidential Scholar and a student in USC Dornsife’s Thematic Option honors program.  As a sophomore, he is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science and a minor in Communication in hopes of working in the media industry, possibly for his favorite magazine,Rolling Stone.  Jim is also a member of the Phi Sigma Theta and Sigma Alpha Lambda honors societies.  The first in his family to live or study on the west coast, he has easily acclimated to the great Los Angeles weather and lifestyle.  As an Admission Intern in the USC Dornsife, he’s glad to talk about the diverse and wide-ranging opportunities it offers.  The prospect of studying abroad this spring has him excited for another great year at the University of Southern California!


Erica Christianson
Political Science

Standing at 6’2”, Erica Christianson is a sophomore at USC from Duarte, California, a small town on the outskirts of Los Angeles.  Erica came to USC to pursue a degree in political science and found a passion for French along the way.  Currently she has a love for history as well as black and white films from Hollywood’s golden age.  Coming from an entire family of Trojans (her older sister just graduated last spring, her father is an alumni, her mom is a USC faculty member and her twin sister is also an undergraduate), Erica loves hearing the band play the Fight Song, especially when it’s late at night during finals week.  Erica is a member of the Women’s Rowing team, as well as the Ultimate Frisbee team. Looking to the future, she has absolutely no idea where she will end up, but is excited to find out.


Asal Ehsanipour

Asal Ehsanipour was born and raised in San Mateo, CA before attending the University of Southern California.  Thus far at USC, she has immersed herself as a member in the Emerging Leader’s Program, a volunteer for the Joint Education Project (JEP), the Shabbat Chair for the Chabad at USC Student Board, and as a new member of the Sigma Alpha Lambda Honors Society.  Most recently in the summer of 2011, she interned at JIMENA, a non-profit organization which serves to preserve Jewish culture in Arab and North African countries.  Though currently an undeclared major, Asal plans on a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies through Dornsife.  She enjoys writing, discovering new music, and eating craisins in her spare time.


Francisco Ríos Casas

Francisco Ríos Casas is from Fullerton, CA and just finished his first year at the University of Southern California.  In this past year, he has changed and matured in countless ways and thanks USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences for being one of the catalysts for his growth as a person.  When he first started last fall, not only was he unsure of what he wanted to study, he had no idea of all the programs and opportunities that existed or of the people that worked in the USC Dornsife. Now, he is an anthropology major, taking part in summer research, and hopes to make plans to study abroad at least one semester in the near future.  As much as he loves his major, he thinks getting to take classes in everything from History, Linguistics, English and French along the way is just as great. He hopes that in your first year at USC, you will also discover all that USC Dornsife can help you find within the University– including research, study abroad programs, or even the possibility of several majors and minors—and within yourself.


Shamoiya Washington
Political Science

Shamoiya Washington is a pre-law student with an emphasis in political science.  She was born and raised in the Los Angeles area and attended Hawthorne High School.  Since she has been at the University of Southern California Shamoiya has involved herself in the Undergraduate Student Residential Community on the advocacy board and joined Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law society.  Shamoiya is a Norman Topping Scholar, a student-ran program that aims to give back to the community and help first-generation college students in their transition from high school to college. In her first semester as a USC Trojan, Shamoiya involved herself in a directed research program where she studied the comparative politics of genetically engineered food with Professor Sanasarian.  While enrolled in the Spring 2011 “It Out to be a Law” FYI seminar, she helped co-author SB63, a bill that advocated for Automatic External defibrillators to be placed within all public high schools.  This summer she will be studying abroad at the University of Cambridge in England to advance her knowledge of international relations.  As a true Topping Scholar, Shamoiya’s dream job would involve giving back to her community and helping underrepresented minorities get into the nation’s top academic institutions.


Christina Zdawczyk
East Asian Languages and Cultures

Christina Zdawczyk is a pre-med student at USC majoring in neuroscience and East Asian Languages and Culture who seeks to pursue a career in medicine or research.  She is an officer for the Japanese Student Association, and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta national honor society.  Her favorite things about USC are going to home football games, seeing USC events at the Galen Center, and studying with her friends at Leavey Library.