Meet our 2021 Mentors

Victor Pacheco

Victor PachecoMy name is Victor Pacheco and I am a Junior Studying Economics, Neurobiology & Physiology! I identify as a first-generation, Mexican-American college student! A little about me, I currently work as a resident assistant at Cary Quadrangle where I support residents and ensure that they are having a great experience in University Residence! In addition, I am a research assistant working under the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department where I work to optimize gold standards in the biomedical field and disease diagnostics. Specifically, I genetically modified gene splicers to pick out RNA sequences within Covid strands in order to signal the presence of this virus all within a microchip! I consider myself an ambivert when it comes to the things I do! I am always up to sit down with thousands of blankets waiting to watch coco or ready to take a midnight trip 2 hours away! In general, if there is something fun to do I will be 100% down to do it!



Tania Pliego-Torres

Tania PliegoTania Pliego Torres (she/her/hers) is a first-generation college student and a daughter of Mexican immigrants. She is a senior double majoring in Brain and Behavioral Science and Spanish. On-campus, she is involved in Delta Phi Mu Sorority, Inc., the executive board for the Multicultural Greek Council, and is a research assistant for the Neurodevelopmental Family Lab. In her free time, Tania enjoys dancing, taking walks, and spending time with her sorority sisters. An Indianapolis native, she enjoys taking trips down to visit her family. Through serving as a peer mentor for the Avancando Through College program, she hopes to share her knowledge about Purdue’s resources and encourage her peers to get involved in clubs and organizations on campus! After all, that is how she found her home away from home. Although Tania is unsure about which route to take upon graduation, she hopes to continue serving the Latinx community.

Karina Almazan

Karina AlmazanI am a first-generation Mexican-American college student from Indianapolis, Indiana, and currently a junior studying Human Services and receiving a Peace Corps Prep certificate. Currently, I am a Peer Counselor in the Division of Financial Aid here at Purdue University, a member of the Human Development and Family Studies Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and I am a Research Assistant in Dr. DeMaria's lab in the Department of Public Health. Some of my hobbies include volunteering, gardening, and video games. I also like dancing and singing, but I am not particularly good at it. I hope to go to graduate school, and then one day join the Peace Corps and complete a term of service. After that, I know that I want to continue to work in humanitarian aid, particularly disaster relief or community development. I look forward to meeting and working with the Avanzando students and helping them learn about being in college!

Kamilah Mercedes Valentin Diaz

Kamilah ValentinKamilah is a junior majoring in Political Science and Anthropology. Originally from Puerto Rico, she now lives in Indianapolis with her parents, older sister, and two dogs. During the school year, she involves herself in the campus community and spends some of her free time utilizing the resources at the multi-cultural centers, especially the Latino Cultural Center. She also enjoys trying new foods, reading, singing, and going on adventures. Kamilah is a passionate learner and storyteller, by educating herself and others she hopes to bring some compassion into the world and contribute good to her people.

Kathryn Malerbi

Kathryn MalerbiKathryn Malerbi (she/hers/her) joined the Latino Cultural Center (LCC) in September of 2021 as a mentor for Purdue University’s Avanzando through College program. She is currently a sophomore at Purdue University in the College of Health and Human Sciences studying to get her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Kathryn plans on receiving her Master’s in Public Health through Purdue’s 5-year Master’s program. She was involved as a mentor in her high school’s Peer Mentoring program and she is a current member of the Brain Exercise Initiative program at Purdue University which helps mentor senior citizens with dementia. Kathryn is a first-generation Brazilian-American who has a passion for learning and is excited to help create a community for all Latinx students to have the support they need to graduate from college!