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Meet Our International Peer Mentors

Become an International Peer Mentor

International Peer Mentors (IPM) volunteer their time to serve as resources, advocates and connectors for new international students to help them adjust to their new environment at Geneseo. IPMs will be selected for their outstanding communication skills, friendliness, reliability, knowledge of campus resources and passion.

*The fall 2020 application deadline to become an IPM is closed. We will be accepting new applications beginning April 2021.


  • IPMs must be considered a full-time student and be registered for a minimum 12 credit hours for the semester.
  • IPMs must maintain both a cumulative and semester GPA of 2.5.
  • Monthly meetings with the ISSS Office are mandatory.

At the beginning of each semester, we assign IPMs to every new International student to answer questions they may have prior to arrival. Once school starts, IPMs keep in touch with their Mentee to serve as a resource, advocate, and connection for them. Ideally, IPMs have a bi-weekly meeting with their Mentee to see how they are adjusting to their new environment and to address difficulties or struggles that their Mentees are facing. They also help new international students get involved in campus activities by holding events, taking Mentees to multicultural and other student organizations, to GLK events and more! 

If you are not a new F-1 student but would like to have your own International Peer Mentor, fill out this form. Request your own International Peer Mentor 

2020-2021 International Peer Mentors

International Peer Mentors (IPMs) are Geneseo students who are passionate about spreading diversity on campus and making campus life for new international students as successful (and fun!) as possible. Many IPMs are international students who have experienced the challenges that international students face in college and they volunteer their time to help others get through those struggles. These IPMs were selected for their outstanding skills of communication, friendliness, reliability, knowledge of campus resources and passion. 

Nami Nishimura

Nami Nishimura is a senior Physics major and Math minor. She was born and raised in Japan and came to Geneseo as an undeclared freshman. She established the International Peer Mentor Program in cooperation with ISSS Office in the 2019 Spring. She has served as RAISE (Resident Assistant for  International Student Engagement) for the past three semesters and has worked at ISSS office for 2 years. She is very passionate about Astrophysics and works as an Astronomy lab instructor, Physics tutor and Math tutor on campus. She is also involved in Astrophysics research at Geneseo.

She hopes that the IPM program helps new international students adjust to the new environment and make the most of the experience here. She thinks getting involved in campus activities and finding the place where they can feel they belong is the key to having a fun and successful campus life.

Fun facts: She just randomly starts ranting about space and physics stuff.

Nami profile picture

Dasha Zhogina

Daria Zhogina is from Velikiy Novgorod, Russia and she came to Geneseo as a transfer student majoring in Anthropology. She has a background in Linguistics (German and Russian). Since she only has two years at Geneseo, she gives her whole self to being academically successful. She is involved in research at the Chemistry department and over the summer she is planning on doing research. Besides studying she loves getting together with international students, traveling and helping make the Geneseo community more diverse.

Studying at Geneseo is not her first time studying abroad. That is why she is excited to be the part of the IPM program - to help new international students feel included, for them to know that they’re  not alone in their struggles and make their transition smooth so they can succeed in both academic and social worlds. She is also excited to be the part of the BRIDGE club which will hopefully be able to start this Fall semester and bring all the international students of Geneseo together.

Fun facts: At home her nickname is “a cozy-hero” because she tends to make all places where she’s lived (even tents while camping) very cozy. She also loves Zumba and doing nail art.



Kazon Robinson

Kazon Robinson is a geography and black studies dual major. He was born in the United States and currently involved in Pride Alliance as their ACE Representative. Furthermore, he is a DICE Facilitator so he works heavily with the Diversity Office located in Erwin. As such he is super passionate about activism and advocacy within his community especially within the intersections of blackness and queerness.

He hopes as an IPM, he can help his students adjust to SUNY Geneseo and the academic environment that exists there. As a recent study abroad student, it can be super lonely in a country they are not familiar with. As such, he wants to help them adjust to SUNY Geneseo especially since it is likely not similar to their home country.

Fun facts: He can do several cartwheels.

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 Michael Kleinlercher

Michael Kleinlercher is a junior History/International Relations Major. He is from Carmel, New York and originally came to Geneseo as a History Secondary Education major his freshman year. On campus he was involved with Student Senate, College Senate, and the Japanese Culture Club as a Secretary. Through being an IPM he hopes to help new students get used to the campus and community, as well as be a resource for questions about life at Geneseo. All in all, he’s hoping he can help make new students’ first year at Geneseo the best it can be.

Outside of Geneseo stuff, he is generally interested in learning new things and expanding his world view. During his freshman year he studied abroad in Japan at Rikkyo University over the summer.

Fun Fact: He’s shockingly bad at math, numbers put him to sleep fast. He likes to read though!

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Kenji Nagayoshi

Kenji Nagayoshi is a senior International Relations and Political Science major from Osaka, Japan. He came to Geneseo in Spring 2017 as a freshman. He started as an International Relations major, but later, he added Political Science as his second major. In addition to being an IPM, he has been on the E-Board of the Japanese Culture Club since 2017 as a president and a public relations.

Studying at Geneseo is not the only study abroad he has done, and he believes this will help new international students with adjusting to a new environment. For example, in his junior year at Geneseo, he studied abroad in Groningen, Netherlands for a semester, and this experience made him realize how difficult starting a new life in a whole new environment can be. He firmly believes the IPM program will be a great resource and would like to assist incoming international students with starting  a new life as a student at SUNY Geneseo.

Fun facts: He is a major cinephile!

Kenji profile picture

Katsunobu Okazawa

Katsunobu Okazawa is a junior student from Japan. His major is Communication, but he is also taking Geography as his minor. He is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, one of the largest fraternities in Geneseo. He likes traveling, playing and watching sports, working out, listening to music, watching Netflix, and of course talking with people.

As an International Peer Mentor, he will do his best to make new students’ lives great by taking plenty of time to talk in person and online. He hopes to answer any questions new students might have and be by their side whenever they face struggles.

Fun facts: Although he is just 20 years old, he has already experienced 10 different part time jobs in his life.

picture of peer mentor