Changemaking Community Mentors are student leaders who help to engage Honors College students in shared digital experiences that directly connect to the Honors College mission. Mentors lead programs, generate discussions, and connect with students on one of four Changemaking Community themes: Active Allyship for Social and Racial Justice, Career with Purpose, Culture & Creativity, and Douglass Honors College Changemakers.
Learn more and stop by our Mentor Meetup Hours.
Meet Our Changemaking Mentors
Vanassa Lafleur (she/her) is a rising senior, majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Psychology. She hopes to one day become a physician assistant. In addition to being a Lead Changemaking Mentor for First–Year Students at the Honors College, she is a member of Stitch for Life, Rutgers Pre-PA Club, and WISO Dance Troupe. Outside of school, Vanassa loves to crochet, watch television, play the piano, and listen to music.
Justin Seo (he/his) is a third-year student studying Genetics with a double minor in Music Technology and Statistics. He dreams of becoming the change in the healthcare industry as an aspiring physician, focusing on ethical practices and corporate social responsibility. Besides being a mentor, he is an active Honors College Ambassador, a videographer for the Taiwanese American Student Association, and does research with the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. In his free time, Justin enjoys hanging out with friends, playing basketball, and loves editing small video projects!
Buzzy Brickman (he/his) is a junior majoring in Business Analytics and Information Technology (BAIT) and minoring in economics. In addition to being a Changemaking Mentor in the Honors College, he is also the Executive Vice President at Rutgers Hillel. Unlike many other college students, Buzzy is not really into watching tv, so instead he keeps busy trying new foods and cooking! For fun he likes doing anything active (i.e. running, climbing, working out, etc.). A fun fact about Buzzy is that he has a boating license and spends his summers jet-skiing in the ocean!
Rachel Schulman (she/her) is a junior majoring in History/Political Science, minoring in Comparative Literature and pursuing a pre-law track. She aspires to work as a constitutional law attorney in cases surrounding civil liberties and civil rights. Besides serving as a Changemaking Mentor for First-Year Students, she is involved in the Honors College as a member of the HC Speaks committee. Additionally, she works as a research assistant in the Jewish Studies department and is Treasurer of the Rutgers University Moot Court Association. In her free time, you can usually find her reading, drinking iced coffee, spending time with friends, or keeping in touch with her large family.
Nicholas Tolentino is a sophomore intending to double major in Criminal Justice & Latino and Caribbean Studies with a post-undergraduate plan of law school to become an attorney. In addition to being a Changemaking mentor he is an Honors College Ambassador and on the Eboard for LLEGO, Criminal Justice Organization, Queer Caucus and RU Mixed as a way to stay connected with the broader Rutgers-New Brunswick community. Beyond academics, Niko spends time getting to know other students and indulging in many different media forms from visual arts to music.
James Kwak is a sophomore majoring in Cell Biology/Neuroscience with aspirations of becoming a doctor, specializing either in cardiovascular medicine or neuroscience. Besides serving as a Changemaking Mentor, James is the vice-president for the Youth Empowerment Club, tutoring children from K-6 in the New Brunswick area. He also conducts research in the Neuropsychology Lab with Professor Michelle Chen and in the Perelman School of Medicine with Dr. Julio Chirinos. In his free time, James loves watching films and television shows(Fantastic Mr. Fox and Succession are his favorites), listening to Billy Joel, and hanging out with friends.
Nubia Finklin (she/they) is a junior majoring in Sport Management, with hopes of becoming a leader in the sport industry. Besides serving as a Changemaking Mentor for First-Year Students, she is on the planning committee for HC Speaks and previously held leadership positions with the Black Affinity Group and SAB. Outside of the Honors College, Nubia is a Sports Representative of the Rutgers Riot Squad, Secretary for LLEGO, and is part of the Council for Leadership, Equity, and Diversity in Sport (CLEDS). In their free time, Nubia enjoys going to Rutgers Athletics events, watching soccer, listening to music, and trying new iced coffee flavors.
Jacob Bazer is a sophomore majoring in Animal Science, with aspirations of becoming a veterinarian for normal and exotic species. Other than serving as a Changemaking Mentor at the Honors College, he regularly volunteers at the Monmouth County SPCA and is a member of the Rutgers Veterinary Science Club. In his free time, Jacob enjoys playing his bass guitar, volleyball, bike riding, and spending time with his friends and family.
Jacey Wagner is a sophomore majoring in Political Science with a minor in Economics, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer focused in business law. Other than serving as a Changemaking Mentor at the Honors College, she volunteers as an Honors College Ambassador, is a member of Phi Sigma Sigma, and she also is active in the Women's Pre-Law Society. In her free time, Jacey enjoys going to the gym, reading, being with friends, and listening to music.
Chelsea Mercado (she/her) is a first-gen sophomore majoring in Finance with a concentration in Global Business and a minor in Latino & Caribbean Studies. Besides serving as a Changemaking Mentor at the Honors College, she also served as a teaching assistant for the Honors College Cross-Cultural Competency Course. Outside of the Honors College, she is the Treasurer for both the Sociedad Estudiantil Dominicana (SED) and the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA) RBS Chapter. Chelsea spent the summer interning at Deloitte as a Tax Discovery intern and traveled to their Leadership Center in Texas. In her free time, you can find her hanging out at the Center for Latino Arts and Culture (CLAC), singing, working out, and trying new foods.
Casey Fortson is a first-generation junior at Rutgers Honors College majoring in public health and minoring in political science. He has previously served as a research assistant for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. While working there, he assisted on various high impact community health related projects in the greater New Jersey area. He also is a current Delta Scholar, a program that seeks to examine social issues that plague the Delta region. In addition to that, Casey has worked with the honorable 15th district Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson since the age of 16. Casey has worked on a summer project about high school aged individuals who suffer from adverse childhood syndrome (ACES). Most notably, over the four years, Casey has gained an irreplaceable mentor in Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson. During his time at Rutgers he has developed keen academic interests in pursuing law school, global health inequities, and representation in filmmaking. When not studying for the LSAT, Casey enjoys watching the NBA/horror films, eating sushi with friends, thrifting and writing scripts for TV shows.
Nia Melvin is a junior majoring in Exercise Science with a minor in Spanish, with aspirations of becoming a doctor and addressing racial disparities in healthcare. Nia works as a tutor for Rutgers O.D.A.S.I.S., which provides supplemental instruction/resources for underrepresented minorities seeking to enter various healthcare fields. She also volunteers for Montgomery EMS as an EMT in training and HomeFront NJ, an organization that aims to end generational cycles of poverty. In her free time, Nia is a member of the HC Black Affinity and enjoys trying new foods, playing sports, meeting new people, and spending time with her puppy Jake!
Elisa Bu Sha
Elisa Bu Sha is a junior studying Biological Sciences and English. She is part of the Rutgers Honors College–New Brunswick and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School 4+4 BA/MD Program. In addition to being Lead Changemaking Mentor for Continuing Students at the Livingston Apartments, Elisa is co-president of the Rutgers SACNAS undergraduate chapter, and part of VPVA SCREAM Theater. In her free time, she enjoys going to the shore and taking care of her many plants.
Anike Ogunwumi (she/her) is a junior majoring in Finance with a concentration in Business Analytics. She aspires to become a consultant in hopes of solving systematic issues in Business. Aside from being a Changemaking mentor, she served as an HC Ally mentor for First Years, is a DEI Ambassador for Douglass Residential College, is an active African community member at Rutgers, and is a member of the Women BUILD cohort. In her free time, Anike enjoys listening to music, dancing, drawing, and interacting with people.
Diarra Thompson is a rising junior majoring in History and minoring in Education as a Social Science and desires to participate in the GSE’s 5-Year Master’s in Elementary Education program to become a teacher. Aside from being a Changemaking Mentor at the University Center at Easton Avenue Apartments, she participates in the Black Student Union, Future Teacher’s Association, and the Scarlet Divas majorette team. Outside of academics, she loves to spend time with her cat, work out, crochet, and watch history documentaries.
Zoe Reich (HC' 24) is a School of Arts and Science student pursuing a double major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry along with English. She plans on pursuing a PhD in biology to research aging. Aside from being a Changemaking Mentor, Zoe is a member of the Rutgers Running Club and a leader in the Honors College Media Team. She can be found in Nelson Bio Labs most days where she researches aging in C. elegans. In her free time, she likes to hike, train for triathlons, read books, and organize her life.