Saint Xavier University Students

First-Year Experience

Transitions Peer Mentors

Mariam Ahmad

Mariam Ahmad

SXU Year: Junior

Major: Biology pre-health and Psychology Clinical Counseling and minor in Chemistry

Hometown: Oak Lawn, IL

SXU Involvement: Honors Program, Muslim Student Association President, Psychology Club Treasurer, and Saint Xavier Council – Director of Commuter and Day Time Events, Tri-Beta

Best Advice: Do not slack on your first year of college because it will be extremely difficult to pick your GPA up. 


Alex Bahner

SXU Year: Senior

Major: Finance, Marketing, and Spanish

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

SXU Involvements: Softball Team, and VP of Finance on Saint Xavier Council

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Get as involved as possible by taking advantage of all the opportunities on campus! Getting involved is a great way to meet new people and learn what's happening at SXU.


Maxine Bolden

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice

Hometown: Mokena, Illinois

SXU Involvements: Quest Leader, Secretary of RHA, Student Ambassador, Student Worker in Residence Life Office

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Get involved in all that you can on campus! Go to as many programs on campus as you can. It's a great way to make new friends and have fun!

Mark Robert Brabec

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Secondary Education with a focus in Mathematics

Hometown: Homewood, IL

SXU Involvements: Improv Club, Mercy Students for Peace and Justice

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Go out and meet as many new people as you can.  The people that you are going to meet in college are going to be great friends in life.  You have to go out and meet them.


Paige Brehm

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Biochemistry

Hometown: Oak Creek, Wisconsin

SXU Involvements: American Chemical Society, Resident Housing Association, and Resident Peer Mentor

Best Advice to a First Year Student: The best advice I can give to a first year student would be to get involved around campus. There is something for everyone on campus. You do not want to sleep your day away in your room. When you get involved you feel better about yourself and more motivated.

Alexzandria Clemmons

SXU Year: Senior

Major: Clinical Psychology

Hometown: Beverly, Illinois

SXU Involvements: Pawprints, Resident Assistant, Saint Xavier Council: Director of Nights and Weekends

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Never be afraid to try and try again. The road to success had many starting points!

NaShawnda Foster

SXU Year: Senior

Major: Accounting

Hometown: South Holland, IL

SXU Involvements: Accounting Students Organization, Campus Ministry Retreats, Orientation Leader, and Treasurer of Black Student Union

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Get involved! Go to events on campus and join clubs that interest you. Not only will you have tons of fun, but you will meet new people and gain even more SXU memories.

Kelsie Fowler

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Hospitality Management/ Psychology

Hometown: Sheboygan, Wisconsin

SXU Involvements: Campus Ministry, Orientation Leader, Service Club, Student Ambassadors

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Try to stay relaxed. Your first year can seem overwhelming and scary, but if you keep calm, and take it step by step, you’ll realize that it’s easier than it seems.


Rebecca Greve

SXU Class: Senior

Major: Communications

Hometown: Chicago, IL

SXU Involvement: Head of Social Media for the Common Room, Production Services Employee, Quest Peer Minister, Spring Break Service Trips, WXAV DJ

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Keep an open mind and stay organized!


Analisa Guerrero

SXU Year: Senior

Major: Speech – Language Pathology & Spanish for Community Services

Hometown: Berwyn, Illinois

SXU Involvements: Clerical Worker for Office of Admission, National Student Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (NSSLHA), Service Club, Student Desk Officer for Public Safety, UNIDOS

Best Advice to a First Year Student: As a college student, you are taking vital steps toward doing something that you really want to do, even if you are not yet sure of what this might be. It is so important to realize the possibilities and the choices in front of you. So the best advice I can give you is not to procrastinate on your assignments and get involved!


Jessica Heller

SXU Year: Senior

Major: Marketing and Finance

Hometown: Chicago, IL

SXU Involvements: Editor of LOGOI: An Undergraduate Academic Journal presented by SXU’s Honor Program, Vice-President of SXU’s Pre-Law Society, Executive Vice President of Programming on Saint Xavier Council, President of SXU’s Honors Program Student Advisory Council , SXU Honors Program , SXU Mock Trial Team

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Change is not a good thing….it is a GREAT thing. High school was not the best four years of your life, college should not be either. You have plenty of time to find what you do best and make each moment count!


Nalleli Herrera

SXU Year: Senior

Major: Spanish Secondary Education; Music minor

Hometown: Chicago, IL

SXU Involvements: Saint Xavier Marching Band, Saint Xavier Wind Ensemble, UNIDOS

Best Advice to a First Year Student: My best advice to a first year student is to get to know people on campus, and the easiest way to do this is by joining a club or an organization! Getting to know people on campus will help you in many ways and it will make your college experience more fun and exciting! 

Amber Kieklak 

SXU Year: Sophomore 

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Tinley Park, IL

SXU Involvement: Student Ambassador and SXU Cheerleader

Best Advice to a First Year Student: My advice to a first student would be to get involved and to go to as many events the school provides for you. Also, don’t procrastinate and fall behind in classes and studying.

Lauren Knepper

SXU Year: Junior

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Naperville, IL

SXU Involvements: Pals for Change member, Retreat leader and active participant in Campus Ministry, SNA (Student Nurses Association) member, Tutor (Anatomy, Physiology, Pathophysiology, Microbiology)

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Don't wait until you are struggling or facing challenges to explore the many resources that Saint Xavier has to offer! There are so many amazing programs and resources as well as people and groups that want to make your experience at SXU the best that it could be.

Ashley Kay Kunzman

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Biology/Pre-Health

Hometown: Portage, MI

SXU Involvement: Transitions Peer Mentor

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Find a good balance between meeting new people and having fun but also keeping up with academics. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help whether it is from a professor, TPM, or a friend.


Denisse Marquez

SXUYear: Junior
Major: Computer Science & Accounting

Hometown: Chicago, IL
High School: Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
SXU Involvement: Student Ambassador, Student Worker, SWAT treasurer, Transitions Peer Mentor, UNIDOS Treasurer
Best Advice to a First Year Student:  School comes first but make sure to make time for yourself and do things that will give you experience on things you enjoy and that will look great on your resume. Networking is key and it's never too early to start. 


Jasmine Mayberry

Year: Junior

Major: Double major in communications and marketing.

Hometown: Chicago, IL

SXU Involvements: Transitions Peer Mentor

Best advice: This will be the best time of your life, and it is everything you make of it. Open up and be willing to try new things and meet new people. You won't regret it.

Brooke McInerney

SXU Year: Senior

Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders, Psychology/Clinical-Counseling

Hometown: Dwight, IL

SXU Involvements: National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA), Pal’s for Change, Resident Assistant, Schmitt Scholar, Saint Xavier Council: Vice President of Wellness and Sustainability

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Your first year will fly by before you know it - in the meantime try something new, get involved, step outside your comfort zone, ask questions, and most importantly have fun! 

Lauren Murray

SXU Year: Junior

Major: Clinical Psychology

Hometown: Darien, IL

SXU Involvement: Paw Prints Dance Team, Resident Assistant in Regina Hall, Rebound Peer Mentor, Saint Xavier Council: VP Commuter Affairs

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Don't be afraid to get involved! It is a wonderful place to meet new people, and to find your passion and your place here at SXU!


Alexa Nakutis

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Nursing
Hometown: Woodridge, IL
High School: Benet Academy 
SXU Involvement: Orientation Leader, Rebounds Peer Mentor
Best Advice to a First Year Student: Use college as your chance to be the person that you've always wanted to be. If you felt like high school wasn't what you wanted it to be, don't forget that this is a great, new start for great, new memories. 

Nicole Nonnemacher

SXU Year: Junior

Major: BSN-Nursing (Psychology minor)

Hometown: Bloomington, IL

SXU Involvements: Student Nurses Association club, SXU Softball Team, Vice President of Student Affairs for Legislative Branch of Student Senate

Best Advice to a First Year student: I recommend that you work ahead in your classes and get a planner to help manage all your assignments. Manage your time wisely! Get involved with the different clubs offered at the university.


Gianna O'Malley

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Early Childhood Education

Hometown: Palos Heights, IL

SXU Involvements: Chapel Choir, Student Ambassadors, Saint Xavier Council (SXC)

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Take advantage of all the resources and help on campus and use them to your advantage because they will help you succeed in your classes. Don't be afraid to go to your professors’ office hours because they do in fact want their students to go to their office hours and are always willing to help in whichever way they can. Also, get involved on campus, because there is something for everyone. 

Robert Potoczek

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Chemistry

Hometown: Orland Park, IL

SXU Involvements: American Chemical Society Treasurer , Chemistry Lab Assistant, Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant, Student Ambassador

Best Advice to a First Year student: Always make sure to get involved. The more you get involved, the more fun you will have. College is what you make of it; make sure to get the most out of your college experience.


Robin Prokaski

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Mathematics/Secondary Education

Hometown: Orland Park, IL

SXU Involvements: Resident Peer Academic Leader, SXU Baseball

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Treat every day like it’s your last and truly enjoy all the experiences college brings you. It will go by very fast and you must take advantage of every situation.


Miranda Shaw 

SXU Year: Junior

Major: Nursing

Hometown: South Elgin, IL

SXU Involvements: Pawprints Dance Team, Public Safety

Best Advice to a First Year Student: College is a time in your life where there's change. Don't be afraid of it; challenge yourself to try new things that you wouldn't have done before!


Abigail (Bobbi) Stanula 

SXU Year: Sophomore

Major: Nursing 

Hometown: Beecher, IL

SXU Involvement: Resident Peer Academic Leader, Student Ambassador, Saint Xavier Council Representative, Student Worker in the Financial Aid Office, Vice President of the Resident Housing Association 

Best Advice: Don't put assignments off until last minute! It is best to get them done early so you don't forget about them and do not get stressed out! Also, be sure you get involved and meet new people!

Brianna Stuckey

SXU year: Sophomore

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Dolton, IL

SXU Involvements: Student Nurses Association, Vice President of the Black Student Union

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Get involved in different organizations on campus. Attend the different events on campus. Go to class and take good notes!

Megan Urbanczyk

SXU Year: Senior

Major: Counseling Psychology with a Minor in Spanish

Hometown: Orland Hills, IL

SXU Involvement: Student Worker in Student Life

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Don't be afraid to try something new or go outside of your comfort box. College and life is about experiences; you should look back on your time at SXU and have no regrets.


Sara Witek

SXU Year: Junior

Major: Communication Science and Disorders with a Minor in Psychology

Hometown: Chicago, IL

SXU involvements: NSSHLA, Pal’s for Change, Resident Assistant, Shannon Center Student Worker

Best Advice to a First Year Student: Get involved as much as you can to make the best of your next four years here at SXU. Have fun, but remember grades are still important even when you're a first year.