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

Alina Zerpa
Great Start Steering Committee

Olivia Cabanas
Activities Chair
Biomedical Engineering

Luis Gonzalez
Sponsorship Chair

Alexia Hirlemann
Educational Information Sessions Chair

Alex McPhee
Recruitment & Registration Chair

Carlos Rohl
Hospitality Chair
Psychology; Economics

Jackie Safstrom
Campus Scavenger Hunt Chair
Public Health; Religion & Health Care
Great Start Counselors

Marlou Abril
Exercise Physiology

Nicole Arguelles
Marketing; Psychology

JP Becerril
Neuroscience; Economics

Maria Bucarano

Andrea Candelaria
Ecosystem Science and Policy

Patricia Colón
International Studies; Political Science

Craig Contreras
Computer Science

Thomas Franchi

Ryan Garcia
Music Business

Daniela Guerra
Public Relations; International Studies

Tiara Kowalczyk

Rachel Mesa
Accounting; Legal Studies

Justin Miranda
Biomedical Engineering

Joanne Niworowski

Amanda Suarez
Psychology; Criminology

Carmen Tun

Antonella Valdivia
Marketing; Public Relations

Sofia Vargas
Great Start Staff Supervisor

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