College of LAS « Illinois

LAS 102: Transfer Advantage

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences wants to ensure all of our students have a successful and productive first semester here at Illinois.

LAS 102: Transfer Advantage is a course designed to assist new transfer students in their transition to our college and campus. Students who enroll in this eight-week, one-credit course will:

  • learn skills for academic success at the college level;
  • have immediate access to a peer mentor who can answer your many questions about your new life as a U of I student;
  • learn about all the important and valuable campus resources;
  • enjoy a small classroom environment with your peers;
  • become familiar with the many learning styles and experiences that you will encounter in your U of I career; and
  • meet other people who may very-well become life-long friends.

The format of the Transfer Advantage course will include lessons and workshops designed to meet the specific needs of a diverse transfer student population.

If you would like more information on whether this course would be a good fit for you in your first semester with us in the College of LAS, please consult with the academic adviser for your major and the LAS 102 staff members listed below

Transfer Advisory Group Blog

Applications open for LAS Transfer Advantage interns

LAS 102 Interns 2016Applications are now open for LAS Transfer Advantage (LAS 102) internships. Interns are accomplished LAS transfer students willing to share their successful transfer experiences with incoming transfer students.

An LAS 102 internship offers our best students the opportunity to help others while enhancing their own skills and preparing for their chosen professions or advanced scholarship. They also serve an important role in helping first-year transfer students adjust to the University of Illinois.

Interns meet with their LAS 102 classes, which have 20 to 25 students, for one hour once a week. An LAS 102 internship offers our best students the opportunity to help others while developing leadership skills. Interns will receive credit for their work with LAS 102. They will be enrolled in LAS 399: Leadership and Professional Development for both the second eight weeks of spring and the full fall semester.

Applications will be available in January 2018.

Transfer Advisory Group (TAG)

Looking for more ways to get involved outside of class and get to know some of your Transfer peers? Join TAG!

TAG is an RSO created and run by transfer students for transfer students. TAG has general meetings about once a month and committee meetings on alternating weeks. LAS 102 Transfer Advantage was created with the help and awareness raised by TAG of the unique problems faced by transfer students. If you would like to make a lasting change for current and future transfer students come to a general or commitee meeting to see what TAG is working on next.

Transfer Advisory Group Blog

LAS 102 Director

Murillo Soranso Murillo Soranso
Welcome to the University of Illinois and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences! I'm so excited to serve as the Director of LAS 102: Transfer Advantage. This class has been designed to give you, our transfer students, the best start possible as you make this transition to the U of I. You will learn so much about our campus and how to take advantage of all the resources at your disposal. LAS 102 interns facilitate the class. They are successful transfer students, who will share lessons about their transfer experience in order for you to have a successful transition. Our teaching assistants (TAs) are incredible graduate students who work closely with the interns. They too are a great resource. Again, welcome to campus, and I look forward to connect with you.

Academic Advisor for Transfer Students

Kristy Valentin Kristy Valentin
Hello! My name is Kristy Valentin. I am the transfer & re-entry academic advisor for the College of LAS. My office is in 2002 Lincoln Hall—please stop by! I am originally from Chicago, but when I was a teenager my parents moved to Gurnee, Illinois. I have been an academic adviser for a few different institutions including an online university, a community college, and four-year universities. Having a variety of higher education experience, I understand the challenges and opportunities in transferring. University of Illinois is truly my home as I am an alumna—class of 2005! In my spare time, I get to be a mommy to twin boys who are the joys of my life. In my other spare times which are truly non-existent, I enjoy GoT, hunting down Champaign/Urbana food trucks, and all things Chicago sports. I am looking forward to a great semester!

Teaching Assistant

Chaddrick Gallaway Chaddrick Gallaway
I am PhD student in Education Policy Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I received a BA in Sociology and minor in Community Action and Social Change at The University of Michigan, where I also worked as an undergraduate researcher for The Program on Intergroup Relations. Prior to working with LAS, I taught middle school in New Orleans. My research interests include intergroup relations within higher education, diversity education, and charter schools. My main professional goal is to one day run a program on intergroup relations at a four-year university.


Christina Aguirre Christina Aguirre
Welcome everyone! My name is Christina Aguirre and I'm a senior pursuing a communication major and gender and women's Studies minor. I transferred last year from Parkland College here in Champaign. I am currently the president of the Transfer Advisory Group, which is a group specifically for students who have transferred to the U of I! I one day hope to have a career in human resources. Some of my favorite pastimes are playing volleyball, heading to the gym, and binge watching reality television. I'm looking forward to a great fall semester!

Elizabeth Cole Elizabeth Cole
Hi everyone! My name is Liz and I am a senior majoring in earth, society, and environmental sustainability. After I graduate this December, I plan on taking a couple years off to travel and work for an environmental organization before returning to school to get a PhD in ecology. With my degree, I hope to research the effects of urbanization on the environment, and inspire younger generations to care for the environment while teaching at a university. When I'm not studying for classes, I can be found crocheting hats and scarves, reading cook books, or listening to the latest Adele song.

Sara Haney Sara Haney
My name is Sara Haney and am an incoming senior. I am majoring in environmental science with a minor in environmental sustainability, which I am extremely passionate about. I am originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and moved to Illinois in 2013. I play for the Illinois Women's Soccer Club team here at U of I, and am a member of its executive board. My time at U of I has given me a great education, opportunities, relationships, and memories. Choosing this school has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I look forward to meeting all the incoming students and working with you to help you succeed as an Illini. I hope you are excited for these next four years of your life, they will be unforgettable. Welcome, class of 2020!

Kelsey Howard Kelsey Howard
My name is Kelsey, and I am a senior majoring in psychology with a minor in leadership studies. I transferred to Illinois from Parkland College in 2015. I am interested in organizational psychology, and how leader behaviors impact workplace functioning. After graduation, I plan to pursue a PhD in business administration or industrial-organizational psychology. Ultimately, I hope to design and implement professional development for managers. My Illinois activities include the James Scholar Program, Psychology Honors Program, Psi Chi, and Mortar Board. I am also research assistant in the Center for Parent-Child Studies and a peer Adviser for the Psychology Department. In my free time, I enjoy painting, organizing, and spending time with my family.

Ashley Jamerson Ashley Jamerson
Hello! I am Ashley Jamerson. I am currently a senior majoring in psychology with a minor in social work. After graduation this year, I plan to receive my master's in school counseling. My hopes are to work in a high school in or near my hometown of Effingham, Illinois.

Marit KirklysMarit Kirklys
Hello and welcome to the University of Illinois! My name is Marit, which is Norwegian for Margaret. I am from La Grange, Illinois, and transferred to U of I from the University of Missouri my sophomore year. I am a senior studying molecular and cellular biology, with a minor in chemistry. I am in the process of applying to medical schools, in hopes of becoming a physician in the future! The last two years at U of I have been some of the best years of my life. There is so much to get involved with on campus, and I've been grateful for my experiences with the American Medical Student Association, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and working at Beckwith in Nugent Hall. In my free time I like to run, catch up on Scandal, and hang out with my friends. I so am excited to be an intern for LAS 101, and to introduce you to this wonderful institution!

Seriah Ohlwine Seriah Ohlwine
Hi, everyone! My name is Seriah Ohlwine. I am going into my senior year here at the university, where I am currently working toward a degree in English. During my junior year, I transferred from Richland Community College, a college in my hometown. I am currently an active member of a few honors societies, and I have experience working at both the Daily Illini and in the library system here on campus. I love giving back and volunteering within my community, so I hope to eventually have a career with a nonprofit organization. I am very excited to meet everyone, and I look forward to the beginning of an enjoyable and educational journey for all of us!

Kenzie Sheridan Kenzie Sheridan
Hi, I'm Kenzie! I'm a senior double-majoring in English and communications. I transferred from College of DuPage after my freshman year. Here on campus, I work as a campus tour guide and a videographer for University Housing. I have a passion for videography and hope to find a career that incorporates filming and editing videos. In my free time, I like to run, decorate cupcakes and sugar cookies, and paint. I quote SpongeBob SquarePants every chance I get and if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be Krispy Kreme donuts.

Carly Prais Carly Prais
Hello all! My name is Carly Prais, and I am a senior from Lake Villa, Illinois. I came to the university after two years at my local community college, and I couldn't be more excited to share my experiences as a transfer student! I am currently studying English, and I love to spend time in all of the campus libraries completing my reading assignments and looking for new books. My other interests include running, hiking, and mental health. I am looking forward to a great semester!

Maddie Remish Maddie Remish
Welcome to the University of Illinois! My name is Maddie Remish and I am a senior double-majoring in psychology and communication. I transferred from University of Iowa because of the vast opportunities U of I holds. Since I was little, I have wanted to pursue a career in law. This semester, I will be taking the LSAT and applying to law schools throughout Chicago and at the U of I College of Law. My goal is to one day be a practicing attorney in Chicago. I am very involved in Greek life; I am a member of Alpha Chi Omega and a voting member of the PanHellenic Judicial Standards Board. I love working out at the ARC going out with my sisters! I am so excited to meet all of you and help you make the smoothest transition to U of I!

Divya Robin Divya Robin
Welcome transfer students! I'm so excited to get to know you all. My name is Divya Robin and I am a senior at the University of Illinois. I transferred into the university as a sophomore and it was the best decision I have ever made. I am majoring in psychology and minoring in communications and hope to be a licensed therapist after I attend graduate school. In my time at the university so far, I've gotten involved with the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and volunteer around campus. I'm addicted to coffee and you will probably find me around campus at a Starbucks or Espresso Royale. (If you ever want a new creative drink, I am always the person to come to!) Hope you all love campus as much as I do.

Nicole Sadowski Nicole Sadowski
Hello everyone! My name is Nicole Sadowski and I am studying communication here at Illinois. I am currently a senior, and I will be graduating in December of this year. With the many career paths I can take with a communication degree, I am still not entirely sure what career path I would like to take. This will be my second internship as a student here at Illinois, and I believe this experience will help me narrow down some possible career choices. I am hoping this internship will help me gain leadership experience, and provide me an opportunity in a professional setting to apply communication skills that I have learned in my classes. I am very excited to teach transfer students about this amazing university and what it has to offer!

Kelli Utz Kelli Utz
Hi, my name is Kelli Utz. I will be going into my senior year at the university. I transferred from Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois. I am from the small town of Effingham, which is only about 70 miles south of campus. I am a MCB major. After completing my degree, I hope to continue on to medical school in hopes of becoming a pediatrician.

Chun Zhai Chun Zhai
Hello and welcome to U of I! My name is Chun Zhai (I also go by Kate), and I am a senior double-majoring in statistics and economics, with a minor in mathematics. I am an international student from Beijing, China. I am currently a research assistant in the School of Social Work and in the Department of Economics. On campus, I am a member of Covenant Fellowship Church and have met a lot of great people there. In my free time, I love to hang out with several friends. Also, I go to the ARC a lot to play badminton or run. I am really excited to meet you all and listen to your stories. I hope you can discover your interests and meet your best friends in U of I! Go Illini!