The mission of the STEM Peer Mentor Program is to promote student success through collaborative involvement with fellow students and the STEM/SRI program team. With the encouragement and support of peer mentors, current STEM students will increase their engagement with colleagues and campus resources while gaining a clearer understanding of their learning needs.


Students in the STEM/SRI Program are required to meet with a Peer Mentor twice each semester (Fall and Spring). Meetings with Mentors can be done through one-on-one sessions in the STEM Lab (Drescher 302) and/or by attending a mentor-led 30-minute workshop. Schedules for the Fall workshops will be coming soon!

If you have any questions or require more information, contact the STEM office at stem@smc.edu.

Fall 2018 Peer Mentoring Calendar

Meet the Peer Mentors


  • Karen Chen

    Major: Mechanical Engineering

    Hi everyone, I'm Karen and this will be my third year at SMC. I'm applying to transfer this Fall to a large variety of schools both within and outside of California so please come ask if you're looking to expand your application pool. I was previously an SI leader for Physics 21 and recently completed a summer internship at Caltech in aerospace engineering. I was fairly successful with my internship applications for Summer '18 and would be happy to help with that. I've put a lot of thought into why I'm pursuing a degree in engineering and would love to share my thoughts and experience on how I got here. Besides that, I'm a big fan of tabletop and video games and I'm always looking for new people to hang out with.


  • Patrcia Azcui-Mancilla

    Major: Engineering/Math

    Hello, hola! my name is Patricia Beatriz Azcui Mancilla, but you can call me Patty. 2019 is going to be my 3rd year at SMC and my 4th year living in the U.S. I’m from Bolivia. My parents and little brother live there, my big brother is currently living in Brazil. I’m a first-generation college student like I’m sure many of us here, my motivation to continue to push forward despite many setbacks and difficulties in life is my FAMILY. it has been quite hard to adjust to a new environment, language and learn to express myself in English.

    This is my 3rd semester as an S.I. leader (Supplemental Instructor) for Math even though I’m shy I pushed myself so I’m able to practice my English, network, help other students, and of course because I love math, I’m part of the STEM program and the Adelante program I'm here to help you be able to utilize all the resources that SMC offers.. Being from a low-income family I know how much scholarships mean, I was a recipient of several scholarships on Spring 2018, so if you need to know more about applying for scholarships feel free to approach me anytime I will be more than happy to help you.

    I can say from first hand that being in STEM major requires a lot of continuous work, energy , dedication and support therefore if you need someone to talk about this stressful but beautiful and exciting path I’m here ready to share my experiences so maybe you can learn from what I did wrong or right and make your career path in a STEM major a little easier.


  • Monica Campos

    Major: Biochemistry

    I had the chance to participate in the UCLA/SMC SRI program where I interned at the MacDonald Medical Research Laboratory. Having the opportunity to work in a research lab last year gave me an insight into how research labs work and it also showed me how to take more efficient notes. As of right now, I am a Care Extender at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and volunteer at Michelson Found Animals in Culver City in my free time. I've also been lucky enough to receive the J. Stanley Brode Memorial Scholarship Award, Crawford's Coronettes Memorial, and Harry Markowitz Memorial scholarship.


  • Eman Williams-Smith

    Major: Electrical Engineering

    Hello, my name is Emmanuel Williams-Smith, but everyone just calls me Eman. In fall 2018 I will be starting my 3rd year at SMC. I am majoring in electrical engineering because in the future I want to work with solar energy. I was raised in South Central Los Angeles where I developed a love for technology by messing around with the public library computers, reading and watching Sci-fi themed books and movies. While at Santa Monica college I have participated in plenty of summer programs at UCLA and LMU. At LMU, I was able to complete a research program on self-driving vehicles. One day I will start my own tech company that will help improve the world, and it will also be better than Apple, Tesla, Google, and Samsung.


  • Kai Chapman

    Major: Mechanical Engineering

    Hello! My name is Kai Chapman and I am studying to become a Mechanical Engineer. First and foremost, I am a new dad to twins, and find that I learn just as much at home as I do in class. It has been quite an adjustment as far as time/stress/expectations management goes, and I look forward to imparting any and all useful information to those need! In my experience so far, I can say without a doubt that getting through STEM courses requires an incredible amount of resources, energy, and support. I know that if I hadn't met people in this STEM program, I would not have found the success I needed. I so look forward to passing on the energy, support, and general good vibes!


  • Mariana Santos

    Major: Neuroscience

    Hey! My name is Mariana. Education, feminism and public health are the things I'm most passionate about. In 2017 I got an internship with Caltech/Base 11 called AMP (Aerospace Mentorship Program), back when my major was Aerospace Engineering. I recently returned from Uganda where I was volunteering in a childcare/medical program. Last spring I volunteered at FMF (Feminist Majority Foundation) where I worked with the head of the fact-checking department of "Miss" magazine. I am focused and driven about helping others achieve their goals.


  • Jesse Torres

    Major: Aerospace Engineering

    Hello everyone. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I am part of Cohort 4 of the STEM/SRI program. Some of my interests include interstellar travel, ion propulsion, orbital mechanics, and time travel. I love to take pictures of the sky and I'm very into old-school hip-hop and many different genres of music. In my STEM experience, I had the awesome opportunity to take part of an educational internship called Jet Propulsion Laboratory Undergraduate Scholars(JPLUS), in which I had the opportunity to meet engineers and scientist of different backgrounds and disciplines. During the summer of 2017, I was part of the STEM Summer Research Initiative (SRI). I conducted research in Applied Mathematics at UCLA in a subject called Myco-fluidics, which is fungal biology and fluid dynamics. This was an unforgettable experience and I am currently still doing research in this laboratory. I am very good at building networks and I have a strong sense of urgency which has, in turn, helped me with my time management skills. Some of my hobbies are skating, music, driving, hiking, photography, and six flags!


  • Hannah Sapinoso

    Major: Biology

    Hi! My name is Hannah. I'm a second-year biology major who is working towards becoming a surgeon in the future and applying for transfer this Fall. Outside of school, I am a volunteer at Michelson Found Animals Adopt & Shop, and a TCAB volunteer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. I like rollercoasters, binge-watching, and discovering new music from other people. I'd love to get to know you, so feel free to approach me anytime!


  • Evan Santiago

    Major: Engineering

    Hey there folks!!! My name is Evan, and I am mostly known for my enthusiasm, high energy, and love for all things nerdy (and pie..I LOVE pie). Before becoming an engineering student here at SMC, I attended/graduated from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and led the finance team of a health food start-up called Back to the Roots, in addition to private consulting in product development (and a volunteer firefighter, 'cause why not?).

    Education and helping students is an extremely important part of my life, and I participate in many organizations/programs aimed at mentoring and assisting students both here at SMC and through UC Berkeley.

    I'd love to learn about you and what makes you tick, so please come visit me!


  • Ally Togle

    Major: Chemistry

    Hey all! My name is Alyssa, but I prefer Ally. I am a chemistry major and a future med student. I am a current intern at UCLA, where I shadow/assist doctors while observing procedures in the ER. I love discussing anything and having in-depth conversations. If you need help or anyone to talk to, I am here for you.


  • David Blake

    Major: Environmental Science

    Hey there I'm David, I'm an environmental science major and this Fall 2018 semester marks my third year here at SMC. I'm 26 years old and moved to Los Angles 8 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio. My main interests are: traveling, playing at open mics, volunteering, and furthering my education. I started out at SMC as a music major and, after experimenting with different classes, decided to change my college path and pursue my interest in science. I absolutely love SMC and have taken advantage of various opportunities since I've been here. Not only opportunities related to my major, like becoming an SI leader and participating in the UCLA/SMC summer research program, but also opportunities not related to my major, such as taking classes to become a certified lifeguard and studying abroad in South Africa. So I am a big supporter of getting outside of your comfort zone and trying new things! I am excited to be a peer mentor because I know what it's like to struggle with being a STEM major and being unsure about the future, we've all been there. I want to be there for my fellow STEM majors by assisting and encouraging them any way I can, whether by helping with a math problem, discussing the best ways to study for an exam, or just to talk about life. I consider myself to be super down-to-earth and you should feel free to approach me about anything.


  • Carlos Santiago

    Major: Chemistry

    Hello! My name is Carlos. I am a first-generation college student born in Mexico (DREAMer). I was a member of the Santa Monica College Cross Country and Track & Field team before switching over to the STEM/SRI team. I am a former Center for Community College Program (CCCP) scholar. During the summer of 2015, I participated in UCLA's CCCP SITE program. A year later I became a STEM skills week tutor before becoming a tutor in the STEM lab. I am also a former Chem Boot Camp tutor where I assisted Chemistry instructors during their supplementary lectures. This past spring, I had the opportunity to assist Professor Tram with her Engineering 1 class. During this past summer, I participated in STEM's Summer Research Initiative (SRI) program which gave me the opportunity to conduct research at UCLA's Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. I joined Dr. Jose Rodriguez Bio-Architecture group and my summer research project focused on solving the atomic structures of filament-forming segments from ice nucleating proteins. Currently, I am a tutor in the STEM lab and continue to do research with Dr. Jose Rodriguez. Outside of STEM, I have been involved with the I.D.E.A.S at SMC club in efforts to provide a safe environment for the undocumented AB540 community on campus. Some of my hobbies include recreational running/hiking, watching movies, and playing sports. I enjoy networking with people, getting involved, and helping others.