Great Start Staff


“I came into Great Start basically not knowing anybody and I was scared of having a hard time finding friends. Great Start introduced me to some really amazing and fun people, both new students and counselors.” – Great Start 2018 Participant


The Great Start staff welcomes you to the University of Miami. Our staff is comprised of counselors of various majors and class standings who have experienced commuter life and are trained to help new commuter students in their transition to the University of Miami. After a year of preparing to welcome commuter students to campus, Great Start counselors spend the entire weekend of Great Start building community with program participants, and then serve as Orientation Fellows once students arrive for the ’Cane Kickoff orientation program in August.


The Student Program Coordinators serve as the lead student facilitators of Great Start. They supervise the counselor staff and manage Great Start both as the face of the program as well as behind the scenes.

Priscilla Ruiz

Priscilla Ruiz

Student Program Coordinator

Legal Studies

Julia Sirven

Student Program Coordinator

Music Business and Entertainment Industries


The steering committee consists of six Great Start counselors who serve as the chairs of various committees in the Great Start program. Each chair oversees unique projects which come together to make Great Start an exciting and seamless experience for new students. Steering Committee chairs also serve as counselors during Great Start.

Katerina Quintairos

Chair, Recreation Committee

Music Business and Entertainment Industries

Julian Nowicki

Chair, Outreach and Registration Committee

International Studies

Public Relations

Genesis Cosme

Chair, Hospitality Committee

Public Relations

Cecilia Amaro

Chair, Transition and Student Development Committee


Alexa Gonzalez

Chair, Sponsorship Committee



The Great Start counselors are student leaders who facilitate new student engagement in Great Start. Counselors provide mentorship and help build community throughout the Great Start program. Counselors are a wealth of knowledge on how to be successful as a commuter student at the University of Miami.

Amanda Rodriguez

Human Resource Management and Business Law

Andres Florez

Biomedical Engineering

Diana Mercado


Dina Thomas

Mechanical Engineering

Dinora Orozco

Political Science

Franco Terrero


Jenny Hudak

Media Management

Laura Florez

Exercise Physiology

Lauren Locke

Psychology and Political Science

Lauryn Bausley


Mickey Sanon

Business Technology and Marketing

Matthew Calle

Music Therapy

Samantha Jimenez


Victoria Garcia

Microbiology and Immunology