The Great Start staff is made up of 26 student staff as well as full-time professional staff supervisors who serve as resources to ensure first-year commuter students have a fun, safe, and successful experience at Great Start and in their college transition.

Great Start 2016 Staff Mission Statement

As the Great Start 2016 staff, our mission is to facilitate a smooth transition to college for commuter students by orienting them to the campus and its resources, challenging them to explore academic and co-curricular opportunities and empowering them to be active members of the ’Canes family.

Student Program Coordinators

Adrian Nuñez
Management; Political Science
a.nunez9@miami.edu

Alina Zerpa
Journalism;
Psychology
a.zerpa1@umiami.edu
Great Start Steering Committee

Olivia Cabanas
Activities Chair
Biomedical Engineering
ocabanas3@miami.edu

Luis Gonzalez
Sponsorship Chair
Accounting
lmg96@miami.edu

Alexia Hirlemann
Educational Information Sessions Chair
Psychology
a.hirlemann@miami.edu

Alex McPhee
Recruitment & Registration Chair
Marketing
ajm152@miami.edu

Carlos Rohl
Hospitality Chair
Psychology; Economics
car240@miami.edu

Jackie Safstrom
Campus Scavenger Hunt Chair
Public Health; Religion & Health Care
j.safstrom1@umiami.edu
Great Start Counselors

Marlou Abril
Exercise Physiology
m.abril@miami.edu

Nicole Arguelles
Marketing; Psychology
nma7@miami.edu

JP Becerril
Neuroscience; Economics
j.becerril@miami.edu

Maria Bucarano
Advertising
mgb79@miami.edu

Andrea Candelaria
Ecosystem Science and Policy
avc21@miami.edu

Patricia Colón
International Studies; Political Science
pxc146@miami.edu

Craig Contreras
Computer Science
ccc66@miami.edu

Thomas Franchi
Biology
txf83@miami.edu

Ryan Garcia
Music Business
rgg7@miami.edu

Daniela Guerra
Public Relations; International Studies
daniguerra@miami.edu

Tiara Kowalczyk
Chemistry
t.kowalczyk@miami.edu

Rachel Mesa
Accounting; Legal Studies
r.mesa1@miami.edu

Justin Miranda
Biomedical Engineering
j.miranda8@umiami.edu

Joanne Niworowski
Mathematics
jxn348@miami.edu

Amanda Suarez
Psychology; Criminology
a.suarez18@miami.edu

Carmen Tun
Biology
cxt203@miami.edu

Antonella Valdivia
Marketing; Public Relations
b.valdivia@miami.edu

Sofia Vargas
Finance
sxv152@miami.edu
Great Start Staff Supervisor

Matthew G. Barnes
Assistant Director, Orientation &
Commuter Student Involvement
Shalala Student Center, suite 203
mgbarnes@miami.edu
(305) 284-5646