Mathilde Andrews, PhD Candidate

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Mentoring interests:

  • Study skills and metacognitive strategies

  • Graduate School

  • Job applications and interviews

  • Transfer students

  • Finding healthy balance

  • Building emotional resiliency


Mathilde received her BA in History of Art and French from UC Berkeley in 2016. She transferred to Cal from Wellesley College in 2014 following a gap year. In 2017, she received her MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. She has worked in a range of arts-related industries, both commercial and non-profit. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of History of Art. She is proficient in French.


What do you enjoy talking about with undergrads? 

I love talking with undergrads about pretty much everything, but my absolute favorite thing is to help students create individualized, holistic study plans. Over the course of a few meetings, we’ll assess where you are now, start introducing new study techniques and ways of managing time, and gradually fine-tune the plan until it feels 100%, perfectly YOU! I’m big into balance and I truly believe that having a solid study system doesn’t just mean better academics, it also means having the time and space for the things you love.


What was your major college mistake as an undergraduate?

The classic—never going to office hours! I went to a professor or GSI’s office hours a grand total of twice in my entire time at Cal. I thought that office hours were only for people with questions and I worried about taking up the professor’s time. Now that I’m on the other side as a GSI, I know that most of the time your instructors are wishing a student would come in and talk to them! Pro tip: if you’re feeling nervous about going or about running out of things to say, just stop in for ten minutes. When it’s time to go, just say you have an appointment—don’t overthink it!

Office hours available. Email or book Mathilde for a  pre-scheduled appointment.

Lesdi Goussen Robleto, PhD Candidate

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Mentoring interests:

  • Majors and courses in the arts

  • Underrepresented and minority students

  • Imposter syndrome

  • Building community on and off-campus

Lesdi received her BA in History of Art from NYU in 2015. She moved back to California to her hometown of Oakland, where she worked as a middle school educator and later as a gallery assistant in San Francisco while applying to graduate school. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of History of Art. She is a native Spanish speaker and is proficient in Portuguese.

What do you enjoy talking about with undergrads?

 I enjoy talking to students about their interests and finding creative ways to make sure that their interests will be explored and grow during their years at Cal! 


What is one thing you wish you had known as an undergrad?

As a first-generation, Latinx student, I wish I had been more involved in the campus community, particularly within groups that represent POC, migrant, and first-generation students—although I have gotten to be more involved as a graduate student. I wish I had known that through these spaces I could have been part of a larger community that advocates for POC students and exposes undergrads to resources and opportunities available to them.


What was your major college mistake?

My major college mistake was not taking enough classes outside of my department. After arriving in college, I quickly declared as an Art History major and only took classes within the department and didn't venture out—despite having some wiggle room in my coursework requirements. Looking back, I didn't really know that I could take classes in other departments outside of general requirements. Perhaps I could have explored more and taken coursework in departments that I am now very grateful for as a graduate student!

Office hours available. Email or book Lesdi for a  pre-scheduled appointment.

Jasmine Sanders, PhD Student

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Mentoring interests:

  • Underrepresented student populations

  • Graduate school

  • Job applications and interviews

  • Resumes and cover letters

  • College challenges: imposter syndrome, isolation, self-care, etc.

Jasmine graduated from Spelman College with a BA in English and joined Teach For America as a high school English Language Arts teacher in Atlanta. After completing her teaching commitment, Jasmine joined Teach For America’s staff as a diversity recruiter and admissions director. Jasmine earned her MA in Sociology & Education from Teachers College, Columbia University before heading to Cal as a PhD student in Sociology. 


What was your major college mistake?

My biggest college mistake was not going to office hours, which also led to my most embarrassing college moment! When I was in college I thought office hours was for if you were having trouble in class or had specific questions for the professor/GSI. I had no idea that office hours are for that PLUS an opportunity to build a relationship with your professor/GSI and engage in meaningful conversations about the course material. Never going to office hours finally caught up with me senior year when I created (what I thought) was an innovative final project for my Images of Women in the Media course; however, my professor wrote in my evaluation that “a very similar project was already done by a previous student years ago and it was hanging up in her office; had I bothered to ever come to office hours I would’ve known” *face palm* Lesson learned!


What do you enjoy talking about with undergrads?

As a student of color, I really enjoy talking with other underrepresented student populations about challenges they may face on campus (imposter syndrome, isolation, etc.) and how to overcome these barriers. Also, as a former recruiter & admissions director, I love to chat with students about post-graduate opportunities, resumes, job interviews and grad school.

Office hours available. Email or book Jasmine for a  pre-scheduled appointment.

Alyssa Borman, PhD Candidate

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Mentoring Interests:

  • Research opportunities and internships 

  • Networking

  • STEM students

  • Underrepresented students 

  • Imposter syndrome and empowerment

  • Hobbies and self-care


Alyssa received her B.S. in Biochemistry from CSU Fullerton before starting her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. She is interested in the developmental basis of tooth replacement and how it compares to other systems of regeneration like hair, scales, and feathers. Her research focuses on the identification and characterization of the putative stem cell niches that underlie tooth renewal.


How did you make the most out of your undergraduate experience?

I applied to everything! Scholarships, research training programs, summer internships, etc. I took full advantage of the professional opportunities available to me through my institution. I wasn’t afraid to ask for assistance when I needed it, whether financially or academically. You never know what the outcome will be if you never ask or apply. More often than not, people want to help you out, build you up, and see you succeed.


What was your major college mistake?

While I excelled in my academic and professional networks, I kept to myself and my friends in my own department and did not explore as many fun events and activities on campus. I was definitely more work than play, and would have benefitted from participating in the broader college life community. 


What do you enjoy talking about with undergrads?

One question I ask my students on the first day of class is, “what is one thing you think I should know about the undergraduate experience at Cal?” I acknowledge that everyone’s undergraduate experience is unique and I am interested in what that looks like and what I can offer to support students in their journey. 

Office hours available. Email or book Alyssa for a  pre-scheduled appointment.


Patrícia Gomes, PhD Student

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Mentoring Interests:

  • Underrepresented, first generation, and transfer students 

  • Humanities and interdisciplinary studies. 

  • Applying to Graduate school 

  • Imposter syndrome and adjusting to college life

  • Transition to college life and self-care practices 

Patrícia double majored at the University at Buffalo in Art History and Global Gender Studies. She then got her Masters of Arts in Performance Studies from NYU in 2017. During a gap year, she completed a curatorial fellowship at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Fall 2018 Patrícia began her PhD in Performance Studies at Berkeley. She is a native speaker of Portuguese and proficient in Spanish. 


What do you enjoy talking about with undergrads? 

I think it super important to talk to undergraduates about how to practice practical skills that will help them in the long run. For example, how to write an email to a professor, how to prepare for office hours, strategies to being a good writer, how to maintain a planner, and when to start interning or planning for graduate school. I’m also happy to talk about the experiences of being an underrepresented student in the university and finding ways to belong and be happy while studying at Cal. Also happy to just have check-ins and chats! 


What is one thing you wish you had known as an undergrad?

As someone who wanted to go to graduate school, I wish I had someone who would’ve told me about programs such as McNair or Mellon Mays that give you training to get into graduate school and conduct research. My school did not have the best mentorship, even in the honors college, for those in the humanities. I had to look for opportunities but being first-generation college student there were many things that I was just not aware of, nor did I necessarily know whom to ask. 


What was your major college mistake?

My biggest mistake was feeling like I had to measure my success against everyone else’s. I wish I had worked to ease my sense of competition and honor my achievement for what they meant for me and not for how they measured up to others. Today I am very thankful to be where I am in graduate school, but the path I took to get here is unique to me and my journey in life. There is no one right way to be a successful student! 

Office hours available. Email or book Patrícia for a  pre-scheduled appointment.

Maria DePalma, Program Director

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Over time I've heard alumni speak of mentoring relationships as some of the most important and memorable experiences gleaned from their college careers.  With this in mind, I looked for ways that UC Berkeley Ph.D. students could supplement the advising experience of L&S undergraduates.  From this vision, the  Mentor Program was born. Utilizing grad students as mentors allowed for unique perspectives, that of exceptional students and scholars, as well as Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) in many of the undergraduate classes.


Since its successful launch, Mentors have been providing student-centered, unbiased, culturally competent advising services.  They draw on their real-world experience to give advice on transitioning into the academic rigors of university expectations, overcoming the imposter syndrome, and act as sounding boards for students, providing practical feedback allowing you to make choices that are right for you. Mentors will share ideas, communicate knowledge, identify useful resources and help clarify educational and professional goals while offering insights on a range of skills — developing time-management strategies, approaching faculty members, preparing effective résumés, and handling interviews.  But most importantly, they’ll encourage you to indulge your intellectual curiosity, while also empowering you to achieve your own definition of academic and personal success


Berkeley provides a plethora of opportunities that can sometimes mean making choices can be challenging.  Let us work with you in your decision making as you plan your individual path to your degree.

Meet the L&S Mentors

Want to make the most out of college? Need guidance but not sure where to go?


L&S Mentors are current UC Berkeley PhD students who work with College of Letters & Science undergraduate students in the STEM, humanities, interdisciplinary, and social science fields. They offer pre-scheduled or drop-in mentoring sessions, and topic-focused small group discussions called Mentoring Hubs.


They also connect students to university resources and facilitate USIG 98: College Success in L&S.