Aggie Jumpstart

Aggie JumpstartAggie Jumpstart (AJS) is a College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) program created to promote inclusive academic excellence and student success through community building, leadership and advising.  In partnership with the Retention Initiatives and the Internship and Career Center, Aggie Jumpstart works to address barriers for first-generation, low-income and underserved students and provides students a network of UC Davis staff, faculty and other campus communities. You’ll connect with CA&ES academic advisors, Career Discovery Group (CDG) classmates, and staff from various campus centers to have fun and:

Aggie Jumpstart students say...

"The academic advising helped me a lot, I was able to get so many questions answered."
Carolina L., International Agriculture

  • get to know other new UC Davis students
  • connect one-on-one with a CA&ES academic advisors, two-three times per quarter, 
  • meet new people and engage with others from campus community centers
  • develop your leadership skills, and 
  • receive quarterly rewards in recognition of your participation in the program. 

Join us and get a successful jumpstart on your college experience. Contact us to learn more information. 

Apply to AJS by July 10, 2023


Aggie Jumpstart Webinar

Learn more about Aggie Jumpstart during this informative webinar.

Meet the Aggie Jumpstart Staff

Aggie Jumpstart Advisors

When I first got to college, it seemed so massive and I wasn’t sure how I was going to find my place. Those first couple of months were scary! But finding my community, getting involved, and connecting with resources made a huge difference in my college experience! I am so excited to work with you over the course of this year and to support you to have the college experience that you have envisioned for yourself. –Greg Anderson, Aggie Jumpstart Academic Advisor (he/his) 

When I went to college I had mixed emotions. I thought I could handle it all on my own but also felt overwhelmed by the entire "college thing". It was hard at times navigating my experiences as a Latina first generation college student. It helped once I got connected to campus resources and I created a circle of people to guide and support me on campus. As an advisor in the Aggie Jumpstart program I am excited to be a part of that journey for students who might be experiencing a similar transition to college. –Lili Bynes, Aggie Jumpstart Academic Advisor (she/her/hers)

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! We are all a little lost sometimes and one of the best skills to develop is how to ask for help. Asking for help is how I built relationships with my mentors in college and their help went a long way. We are here to support you! –Corrine Hawes, Student Leadership Program Coordinator (she/her/hers)

Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson
Lili Bynes
Lili Bynes
Corrine Hawes
Corrine Hawes


Lynn Fowler

I remember driving up to orientation and feeling terrified of the large UC Davis campus.  I found my place by connecting with people in my residence hall, clubs and through an on-campus job (work study) at Outdoor Adventures.  I moved on to several internships that helped me gain skills and decide on my career path.  Now I get to help students daily figure out how to connect with what interests them and support their career development process.  I help oversee the CDG course, and am here to support you in your transition to university." -Lynn Fowler - Senior Career Counselor, Internship and Career Center (she/her/hers)


Career Discovery Group (CDG) TA Mentors

Julia Owen, CDG TA Mentor and Lead TA, (she/her)

Campus Partners

Dionica Bell –Director, Center for African Diaspora Student Success

“Going to college was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. As a first generation and queer person of color, I felt that my identities were going to prevent me from graduating. While I did face a lot of challenges, I also found a community, resources, and people who taught me to embrace my identities. It was these relationships that played a big role in my success as an undergraduate. As part of Aggie Jumpstart I am excited to help students create relationships and connections across campus and empower them to use their identities as a source of strength to reach their goals.” -Rodrigo Bonilla, Director, Center for Chicanx and Latinx Academic Student Success (he/they)

As a first-generation college student, I attended a sister UC and the campus was huge. What made it feel less intimidating was connecting to a transition program which helped me develop relationships with other students and staff. Then I knew when I had questions or concerns, I already knew the name and the face of someone who could help or direct me to the right place. That’s what Aggie Jumpstart can do for you as you get more involved. I hope to be a bridge not only to the Center For African Diaspora Student Success, but the larger campus to make your navigations as seamless as possible! Take the jump, you won’t regret it!” -Maya Bell - Associate Director, Center for African Diaspora Student Success (she/her/hers)

Attending UC Davis was both exciting and overwhelming. It was one of the first times I saw folks who looked like me yet I still struggled to find and build my community. Over time, I was able to find amazing friends and wonderful staff and faculty who saw me as more than just a student and helped me graduate! I am so thankful to these folks, who I am still friends with now – and without them, I wouldn’t have the courage to go on to graduate school and beyond”. -Katherine ‘Kat’ Parpana – Director, Asian and Pacific Islander Strategic Retention Initiative (she/her/siya)
As a first generation student, she has worked on this campus for students for 25 years. She is passionate about providing access and opportunities for all students and helping students develop their individual success plans. The Aggie JumpStart program will be a positive factor in this development. -Michelle Villegas-Frazier, Director, Native American Retention Initiative and Native American Academic Student Success Center
Rodrigo Bonilla
Rodrigo Bonilla
Maya Bell
Maya Bell
Deserea Langley
Deserea Langley


Kat Parpana
Kat Parpana
Michelle Villegas-Frazier
Michelle Villegas-Frazier


    Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentors

    Michelle Correa

    Jasmine Ureno

    Hey Aggies! My name is Jasmine and I am one of your Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentors! Upon first arriving to Davis, I was extremely nervous on what kind of experiences I would go through, if I would fit in, etc.. I had a bit of a rough start beginning here, however being in Aggie Jumpstart helped me feel a sense of belonging and opened many doors of opportunities for me. I hope that Aggie Jumpstart helps all of you find exactly what you need and discover even more about yourself. We are always here for you and believe that you can make it through anything! And as always, reach for the stars Aggies!" -Jasmine Ureno, Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentor (she/her)


    Amy Do

    Experiencing UC Davis for the first time, I had no idea what was in-store, but I knew I was going to gain experiences here that will change my life for the better. As a 2nd year student, It has been intimidating at times, but in the end, I know it will be worth all the stress over the unknown. Being part of communities helped me embrace my uncertainties, navigate my way around, and discover new opportunities in ways I couldn't do alone. To me, College has been like a gym membership. Just paying the fee isn't enough to get fit. You have to go every day to make a difference. I hope Aggie JumpStart and us Peer Mentors can be your personal trainers to help you get the results and college experience you would like!" -Amy Do, Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentor (she/her)


    Flora Lau
    Being a first-generation college student is so weird to experience. I thought I knew enough about college, but the more I learned the more I realized I didn't know much at all. But it's not so weird once you meet others who feel the same way you do. Don't stress if you can't find those people at first, just take it slow, deal with things one by one, and friends and knowledge will come to you. We're here in Aggie Jumpstart to help you with all the new things you might encounter (new environment, tests, quarter system, responsibilities, and all) while making friends along the way! Good luck, I know you can do it, and I hope to see you soon!" -Flora Lau, Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentor (she/her)
    UAP Support

    Susan Ebeler, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Academic Programs and Professor in College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (she/her)
    Leslie Charlton, Director, Undergraduate Academic Programs (she/her)