Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship Program

The IDEA Engineering Student Center's Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship (TEAM) Program pairs incoming transfer engineering studentsin the Jacobs School of Engineering with upperclassmen transfer students. This free program is for engineering students who transferred from either a 2 and/or 4 year College/University.

The TEAM program is designed to assist new transfer students (Mentees) in making a successful adjustment to UC San Diego as an engineering student. Mentees will be paired with a Transfer Mentor who will provide you with resources, experience, and the opportunity to connect with other transfer students. The program is flexible and designed to help you make the most of your experience at UC San Diego, as well as provide you with opportunities to build strong connections with the engineering community!

Program Goals

  • Provide individual guidance and mentorship to ease the transition of engineering students transferring to UC San Diego to continue their undergraduate studies
  • Create a supportive and inclusive community for engineering transfer students to develop both professionally and personally through engaging topics, interactive sessions, and thoughtful networking opportunities with UCSD peers, graduate students, staff, alumni and industry
  • Welcome incoming transfer students into the Jacobs School of Engineering community by fostering relationships with fellow students, staff, and faculty
  • Connect participants with the important resources and guidance that support the success of all students at UC San Diego
  • Create a space for engineering students with similar experiences to learn from each other (ALL Events, Trips and Outings planned by transfer students for transfer students)

Program Dates

All Applications are now CLOSED and will open in September 2021.


Michael Hanson, Environmental Engineering


I graduated from high school in Cornwall, New York in 2013. I went to community college for a year and a half at Rockland Community College and failed almost all of my classes due to a lack of motivation. After that I decided to move to San Diego and start over. I attended San Diego Mesa and Miramar college while I figured out what path I wanted to take. I took my previous failures in New York and used them as fuel to push me in my new endeavors here in San Diego. I applied to UC San Diego for admission in Fall 2018 with a 3.90 GPA and got into Environmental Engineering. I participated in the summer Transfer Prep program where I made tons of new friends who all came from similar backgrounds. Now, I'd like to help give back to incoming transfer students and help them on their journey to success through the TEAM program.

Sothyrak Srey (Tee), Electrical and Computer Engineering


Tee Srey was born and raised in Cambodia. He moved to San Diego and attended San Diego Mesa College before transferring to UC San Diego, where he finished his bachelor degree in Computer Science in the Spring of 2019. Currently, he is working towards his master in Computer Science as part of the 5 year BS/MS program at UCSD. He has interned at Hughes Network Systems and Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). Heloves to be involved on campus. In addition to being a student officer of oSTEM (Out in STEM) and HKN (Eta Kappa Nu), he became one of the TEAM coordinators after being a TEAM mentor. What he likes about TEAM are the community of transfer students and the resource to ensure the academic and professional success of all transfer students.

Andrew Nguyen, Computer Science


I am a native San Diegan and a 4th year transfer at UCSD studying Computer Science. I spent two years at the San Diego Miramar and Mesa College before transferring. Transitioning into my first year at UCSD, I struggled two quarters failing a CSE course twice due to lack of motivation. I steadily worked my way out of struggle and now got six courses remaining, while getting more involved on campus tutoring a Computer Science course and doing research over the summer, being a part of IEEE for a year, working on projects with Global TIES in the past quarters, and being a TEAM mentor for two years. This is my first year working as a TEAM coordinator with Sinai. I look forward to getting to meet all the Mentors and Mentees coming in to TEAM.

“Visiting a company and meeting engineering professionals who were similar to me and who also started off at a community college was really inspiring and motivating.”

“Connecting with a transfer engineering student right away, who was in my majorand took the courses I would soon be enrolling in, really helped my transition toengineering. It also helped because my mentor introduced me to faculty in my major and even brought me to her research lab, where I am now working at!”

“Being a veteran student, it was valuable having another veteran engineering student as my mentor. He could relate to me on so many levels and we really formed a lasting bond. We were able to connect on technical skills the military trains you on and were able to use those skills directly in our major.”

Program Expectations/Requirements

  • Attend two group meetings per quarter
  • Meet with mentor at least once per quarter
  • Prepare a two- or three-year plan to informally review with your mentor at the beginning of the program

Program Benefits

  • Make connections and build a network of support at UCSD by meeting other new transfer students, continuing students, graduate students, faculty, industry professionals, and more!
  • Get insider advice on classes that your advisors will not be able to provide, such as tips on what electives to take, suggestions on professors, and when to take which classes from current students in your major!
  • Talk about your experiences and get support from someone who has already gone on a similar path
  • Practice talking to professionals – both academic and industrial!
  • Learn how to gain invaluable experience and how to get involved!
  • Free food!

Program Eligibility

  • Transfer student coming from 2- or 4-year college/university admitted for Fall quarter at UC San Diego


Program Expectations/Requirements

  • Attend two group meetings per quarter.
  • Meet with mentee at least once per quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring).
  • Be proactive in planning meetings and arrangements with mentees.
  • Flexibility with meetings and mentorship style.
    • Be able to meet with students one-on-one, or in groups, depending on scheduling and preference of the MENTEES (not the mentor).

Program Benefits

  • Expand your network of graduate, current, and incoming students.
  • Participate in tours, professional development, social events, and networking opportunities.
  • Establish connections with faculty and industry through networking events, tours, and seminars.
  • Rewarding experience of being a leader and mentor – provide invaluable resources for incoming students to help with their transition, expose new students to resources and introduce major and classes to them, and provide advice and tips for core classes and electives!
  • Free food!

Program Eligibility

  • 2.7 GPA minimum, or circumstances that would indicate overall success despite lower GPA
  • Must be a continuing transfer student who has been at UC San Diego for at least 1 year
  • Must be willing to take an active role in planning meetings and interactions with your mentee


Phoebe Valdes, Bioengineering

Phoebe Headshot 2020.png

Phoebe Valdes is currently a 2nd year Bioengineering PhD student focusing on systems biology of neurodegenerative diseases. She has a B.S. in Bioengineering:Bioinformatics from UC San Diego and a M.S. in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine. Her previous work experience ranges from working in various research labs both in academia and biopharmaceutical industry studying neurological disorders and learning how to manufacture bacterial plasmids. In her free time, she loves to hike, bake cakes, listen to music and watch movies. As a new graduate mentor under the TEAM program who loves mentoring students in general, she hopes to help incoming transfer undergraduates who just transitioned into engineering to gain the confidence needed with a positive attitude and skills necessary such as time and stress management to achieve their educational goals. Finally, she hopes to provide insightful studying tips for core engineering coursework and ways to apply for research positions in order to help transfer students become successful engineering students at UCSD.

Ajit Kumar, Computer Science


This is Ajit. I'm a second year master's student in Computer Science at UCSD.

I've worked at Microsoft for three years in India before I started pursuing my master's. 

This is the second quarter that I'm serving as a TA at UCSD, and I'm loving it!


Ferrill Rushton, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Headshot (1).jpg

Ferrill Rushton is a masters student studying Photonics in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. He received a B.S. with summa cum laude honors in Electrical Engineering with a depth in Photonics and a minor in Physics from UCSD in the spring of 2020. He has been involved with research at UCSD (mostly through Engineers for Exploration) and has had internships with Los Alamos National Laboratory and NASA Glenn Research Center. He has a strong passion for learning, especially when it comes to physics, and research interests include quantum optics, optical waveguides and devices, and integrated photonics. While not studying, working or doing research, he enjoys many outdoor activities including volleyball, surfing, backpacking and bouldering.


Carolina Jauregui, Strucural Engineering


Carolina Jauregui is a PhD candidate in the Structural Engineering department. She has also received her bachelors and masters degrees from UC San Diego in Structural Engineering. Her field of research is in structural topology optimization and her specific topics include large-scale and multi-physics topology optimization. Besides her research, Carolina also has a strong interest in teaching and engaging equitable teaching practices.

Shivam Chopra, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

pasted image 0.png

I am a 3rd year PhD Candidate in MAE department with specialization in bioinspired robotics with a focus on robot locomotion on deformable terrain. Originally from India, I came to UCSD as a masters student in Mechanical Engineering. I have been mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in research projects in our lab. I love cooking and trying out new recipes. In my “free” time, you can find me at Torrey Pines or in a national park.


Coming Soon!

If you have any questions about TEAM, please contact the TEAM Coordinators at