CLA Underrepresented Students Network
To assist underrepresented students in having an equitable educational experience as a part of the Cal Poly campus.
ABOUT CLA USN
The College of Liberal Arts Underrepresented Students Network (CLA USN) is a peer mentoring program for underrepresented students in our college. Mentors can meet informally with mentees to provide support and resources on Cal Poly’s campus. USN is not a counseling service, but a place to talk with peers who can identify with the experiences of other underrepresented students. Please see the list of mentors below, and click the button to sign up to be matched!
Get the Latest CLA USN News
MEET THE CLA USN Mentors
Alexis Van Pelt
Major: Sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and a minor in law & society
Hobbies: TV shows (specifically the TV show Friends), sleeping, and reading new books! I also love making plans with friends and family to go on weekend trips!
Fun Facts: I'm allergic to chocolate...
Major: Art and Design (graphic design)
Hobbies: Arts and crafts, baking, photography, clubs, beaches and walking.
Fun Facts: I have a gray and white tux cat that I love very much! I plan on going abroad next year and I used to work as a florist and then a barista.
Major: Child Development Major with minors in Psychology, Spanish, and Ethnic Studies.
Hobbies: I love to play guitar, ukulele, and the violin whenever I get the chance. I also like to thrift or upcycle my clothes. When I am not in an active mood, I like taking naps to reenergize or binge-watching old TV shows.
Fun Facts: I have a twin brother who also goes to Cal Poly, and we were born 2 months premature.
Major: English with a double minor in Spanish and MAST .
Hobbies: I like writing, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and watching my favorite comfort shows over and over again.
Fun Facts: My favorite seasons of the year are fall and winter even though I was born in the spring.
Hobbies: I love to read and write, thrift, go to concerts, and discover new music. I have recently gotten into surfing, so you could probably find me at Pismo Beach trying to catch a wave!
Fun Facts: I am Filipino and Mexican, and second-generation!
Major: Sociology, concentration in Organizations
Hobbies: My hobbies include thrifting, baking, making Spotify playlists, photography (both digital and film), and painting.
Fun Facts: I am a first-generation Korean Canadian, but I grew up and live in Los Angeles.
Evan Fong Toji
Major: Art and Design: Graphic Design
Hobbies: Surfing, Photography, Cooking and Playing Guitar
Fun Facts: I love listening and sharing new music and for me Sunday night is the best night of the week because of my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist.
Hobbies: I love spending time with my roommates, going to the beach, hiking, and discovering new music artists!
Fun Facts: I am Guatemalan and Mexican, and I love all things with calaveras on them!
Major: Sociology major with a minor in communication studies
Hobbies: I like to read, bake, and go to the beach in my free time.
Fun Facts: I am a first-generation college student, and I am also a transfer student from Santa Barbara City College!
Hobbies: I love reading, crocheting, and making hyper-specific Spotify playlists :)
Fun Facts: I grew up in the Bay Area, and I’m one of six kids.
Major: Graphic Communication
Hobbies: I like to bake, swim, read, write and find new things to do with my friends.
Fun Fact: I am from and have lived my whole life in the 626 area.
Hobbies: I enjoy biking, going to the beach and reading!
Fun Fact: I have a twin sister and two younger twin brothers!
Mackenzie Marie Demay
Major: Communication Studies
Minor: Science and Risk Communication
Hobbies: Weightlifting, Hiking, and watching new Netflix movies!
Fun Facts: I am a first-generation college student and a transfer student!
Major: History, Minor in Linguistics
Hobbies: Some hobbies I enjoy doing are trying new hikes, exercising at the gym, and listening to music.
Fun Facts: I am a first-generation college student.
Major: Sociology and Psychology
Hobbies: Painting, drawing, doing arts and crafts. I enjoy watching TV shows and good movie recommendations. I also like taking small adventures by myself and discovering cool places to watch the sunset.
Fun Facts: I am a first-gen undocumented student and I also share the same birthday as my mom.
Major: Sociology with a concentration in social services and a minor in child development
Fun Facts: I have five siblings and I have a twin sister who is also attending Cal Poly!
Major: Communication studies major with a minor in sales
Hobbies: Sports of all kinds, weightlifting, playing guitar, and music analysis.
Fun Facts: I am African American and White, first-generation college student, work full-time, and genuinely enjoy optimizing class schedules.
Major: Philosophy with a minor in Pre-Law.
Hobbies: Cooking, practicing yoga, writing, and trying new foods.
Major: Psychology with a minor in studio art
Hobbies: Besides doodling, I love to cook and bake, play video games, hike all over SLO, hang out with friends, and sing!
Fun Facts: I have a twin who graduated at Cal Poly as a business major so feel free to ask questions about that!
Major: Political Art & Design with a Studio concentration with a minor in Spanish
Hobbies: My medium of choice is mixed media sculpture, but I've been oil painting more recently due to not being able to have access to the art studios on campus. I work with surrealism and the exploration of the subconscious. When I'm not making art, I also like to dance, cook, garden, and take care of my baby rats! I'm also interested in psychology, politics, and history. I enjoy reading African American memoirs and my favorite movie is Fantastic Planet.
Fun Facts: I cut and dye my hair myself.
Ruilly Horta Castaneda
Major: Anthropology and Geography, Class of 2022
Hobbies: Eating food, Binge-watching Netflix, reading, painting/drawing, going to the beach, listening to music (especially reggaeton), and spending time with mi familia.
Fun Facts: I'm a first-generation Latina from Michoacan, Mexico. My family and I (primos and everything) migrated to the U.S. around ten years ago.
Major: Graphic Communication
Hobbies: Reading, spending time with family, listening to music, binge-watching new shows, and watching sports.
Fun Facts: I am a first-generation transfer student.
Major: Sociology with a minor in Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology
Hobbies: I love binge-watching tv shows, spending hours researching random things on the internet, and eating fried chicken sandwiches.
Fun Facts: I am a first-generation American (my parents are Iranian and Austrian) and I am from San Francisco.
Hobbies: I love to play tennis, thrift, eat ramen, listen to music and watch pretty sunsets with my friends.
Fun Facts: I am a second-generation Filipino-American college student from the central coast!