Peer Leaders

Peer Leaders are undergraduate students that work in conjunction with a Lead Instructor to guide discussions within a section of FYS 101. Discussions are anchored around increasing the sense of belonging on the Syracuse University campus. Peer Leaders will lead two FYS 101 class discussions throughout the semester and will directly communicate with students throughout the semester.

José Baeza-RuizJosé Baeza-Ruiz (he/him/his)

José is a 25-year-old student veteran currently pursuing a degree in business analytics. After a successful stint as a signals data analyst in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2016-21, José’s passion for personal growth led him to the prestigious Whitman School of Management. Alongside his academic pursuits, José actively contributes to the greater Syracuse community as a dedicated member of Kiwanis Syracuse Young Professionals. Hailing from California, José finds joy in exploring the great outdoors and indulging in sports and sports entertainment.

“Bloom where you’re planted, for even in challenging environments, the strength of your spirit and the resilience of your character can allow you to transcend limitations and thrive.” – Quoted and adapted from Mary Engelbreit

Naomi InfeldNaomi Infeld (she/they)

Naomi is a sophomore from Durham, Connecticut, and is dual enrolled in the Maxwell School studying international relations and the Newhouse School studying public relations. She is a FYS 101 Peer Advisor, treasurer of the Model UN Club, a Newhouse ambassador, and a tuba player in the Pride of the Orange Marching Band and the Sour Sitrus Society.

“I wanted to be an FYS 101 Peer Leader to invite and welcome those into the Orange community. I want to be able to help students learn more about themselves and others to make our campus a more welcoming and beautiful place.”

Chinelo OkaforChinelo Okafor

Chinelo is a rising sophomore from Lagos, Nigeria, studying international relations. She is an FYS 101 Peer Leader and a University100 student ambassador and tour guide.

“I wanted to become an FYS 101 Peer Leader to make classes more engaging for first-year students. Additionally, I hope to foster a welcoming environment where students feel comfortable interacting with one another.”

Grace WuGrace Wu (she/her/hers)

Grace is a sophomore from Westchester, New York, majoring in policy studies and information management and technology. She is the director of administration and finance for the Residence Hall Association and a consultant and junior project manager for Slice Consulting. Outside of school, Grace enjoys skiing, hiking and painting.

“I wanted to be an FYS Peer Leader to assist incoming students with the college transition. I remember the positive impact my Peer Leader had on me, and I aim to create that welcoming environment.”

Allan ZhengAllan Zheng

Allan is a junior majoring in social work, psychology, human development and family sciences. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Centering himself within the Orange community as a Peer Leader in FYS 101, Zheng furthers his cultural impact on campus as a member of the Syracuse University Ambulance, Fetch Magazine, FADS, SpoonU, and working at Upstate Medical University. Allan further elevates campus readiness by making Opioid Overdose Certification (Narcan) obtainable on campus with his co-workers through his time as a Peer Leader under Health and Promotion at Barnes Center at The Arch.

“Upon joining this team, I wanted to expose the importance of honoring our own skin, character and soul. I want to push the value of equity through involvement and navigation in our Orange community. Whether a shoulder to lean on or hanging out together, I believe the integral transition of FYS 101 influences one’s dictation of our climate, experience and self-growth. Understanding that no one is alone on this campus, there is qualitative support, encouragement and leadership guiding right behind you.”