Transfer Student Network

The Transfer Student Network (TSN) is a program designed to help first-semester transfer students feel comfortable at the U. Through one-on-one Coffee-Chats and large group events, new transfer students are able to connect with other transfer students and find community at the U. These events are supported by our Transfer Insiders: transfer students who have made a successful transition to the University of Minnesota and are dedicated to enhancing the transfer student experience.

All first semester transfer students will automatically receive Transfer Student Network communications and event invitations. One-on-one Coffee Chats are a great opportunity to talk with a Transfer Insider about their experiences. They can answer your questions, give advice, or point you to a campus resource. Connect with them while enjoying a free Starbucks drink - courtesy of OTE!

Want to get connected to a Transfer Insider? Sign up at to request a Coffee Chat. You can also indicate if you want to request a chat with a specific Insider!

If you have any additional questions about TSN or would like to learn more about how to get involved after your first semester, please email

Get to know our Transfer Insiders!

Michael Corda: Hey! I’m currently a junior who transferred from Cerritos Community College in Cerritos, California in the Fall of 2017. I’m in CLA and I’m majoring in Psychology with plans to go into Industrial/Organizational Psychology in graduate school. On campus I’m in the Philippine Student Association and I worked as a Transfer Student Leader in the Summer of 2018. I also used to be a writer for Twin Cities branch of TheOdysseyOnline during my first year. In my free time I’m a fan of playing video games (namely League of Legends) and listening to music. I’m actually trying to teach myself to play the piano and the guitar this year so be on the lookout for a sick mixtape. If you’re like me and you transferred into the U without knowing anyone in Minnesota, I’d suggest starting by making friends in the classroom; the kid next to you is probably as lost as you are and it always helps to have a second voice while studying for exams. University is a time of academic and personal growth, so make the most of it!!

Kasie Falkenberg: Hello! I transferred from John Tyler Community College in Richmond, Virginia in Fall 2016 as a Sophomore. I am a CLA student majoring in Global Studies with minors in African/African American Studies, Public Health, History, and Leadership. Currently, I work with the Leadership Minor as a teaching assistant and event coordinator and I am a Team Leader with the CLA 3001 Transfer Semester Experience course! I also work for the Gopher Chauffeur! Advice I have for you is to find out what opportunities are available that revolve around things you are passionate about! I have found that finding a community of like-minded people made me feel welcome and gave me a sense of belonging. Reach out to other students in class, professors, and advisers to ask about what opportunities are out there!

Aislinn Hernandez: Hi there! I transferred from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD in the Fall of 2017. I am majoring in Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance in CLA. When I came to campus, I became involved in the Leadership Minor, and the Leaders in Transition Living Learning Community (LLC). The LLC emphasized the Leadership Minor to be a small, tight-knit community, and that's exactly what I was looking for. Being a part of a smaller community made the campus feel less overwhelming. I also was involved in Greek Life which also allowed me to meet a diverse group of people. Networking and making connections have made an enormous difference in my interactions on campus. I love to try out new coffee shops around the Twin Cities area and attend concerts or sporting events, and that has helped my transition in adjusting to a larger city. A piece of advice I have is to branch out! You don't have to try something new every day or every week but try new things once in a while. You'll be surprised at how many events are regularly occurring, and if you don't like it, at least there's usually free food to make up for it! New activities allow you to experiment and establish a greater sense of what you're interested in. By far, the best part is meeting new people and making new friends.

Cody Johannsen: Hey there! My name is Cody and I’m a senior in the College of Design. I am working on my Bachelor’s of Design in Architecture and taking a minor in Interdisciplinary Design. I studied Political Science at Saint Cloud State University before transferring here in the fall of 2017. Before that I was fortunate enough to travel the world while in the Marine Corps. On campus I have been involved by working as a Transfer Student Leader and being involved in my major (CDes is basically a club in its own right). I am also a huge sports fan and a die hard Vikings fan, can I get a Skol? My fiance and I love going on hikes with our dog Stanley and I can often be found at the various dog parks around the twin cities. If I’m not outside being active, there’s a good chance I’m at the Source in Roseville playing board games, one of my biggest hobbies is painting historical miniatures. If I could give any piece of advice to you all, I would tell you not to let your nerves/fears/discomfort get in the way of making the most out of your experience here. I can guarantee you that everyone is just as nervous as you are about putting themselves out there; be it joining a club, making a new friend, or even just raising your hand in class, you will be pleasantly surprised at how welcomed you will be if you just be yourself.

Emily Luebke: Hi! My name is Emily and I am currently a junior in the College of Liberal Arts majoring in strategic communication with a minor in leadership. I transferred to the U in the fall of 2017 from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. I am currently involved in the Advertising Club here on campus and was a part of another advertising club called Verge last year. In my free time I really enjoy playing guitar, exploring new places around Minneapolis, and hanging out with my friends that I have made at the U since I have transferred here! I also enjoy working out at the rec and doing the workout classes that are offered there. My piece of advice for new transfer students would be to push yourself as far out of your comfort zone as possible! I am typically a more reserved and quiet person so that was difficult for me to do when I first transferred, but I am so glad! There are so many great people and great opportunities here at the U that you do not want to miss out on!

Archie MacKinnon: Hi, my name is Archie and I am a junior studying environmental science, policy and management in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.  I transferred in the fall of 2017 from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. When I arrived on campus I joined the Nordic Ski Team as well as the UMN Philosophy Club, both of which I greatly enjoy.  This past summer, I worked as a Transfer Student Leader which allowed me to get to know some really friendly and interesting transfer students. My advice for incoming transfer students would be to leave room to explore.  My favorite experiences at the university so far have been those where I took a chance and/or stumbled upon something I was curious about but did not expect I would be interested in.

Elisabeth Parr: Hi! My name is Elisabeth and I am a senior studying Genetics, Cell Biology and Development in the College of Biological Sciences. I transferred from Southern Illinois University in the Spring of 2017. I hope to go into pediatric oncology in the future. I am involved in the Neuroscience Club, Bandana Project, CBS Circles, research in Pediatric BMT, off-campus volunteering and I was a Transfer Student Leader this past summer! On campus I like to go to the Recreation and Wellness Center, Walter Library, Starbucks, and to PAWS. I like to play tennis, play the violin, walk dogs at the animal shelter, and take Buzzfeed quizzes :) The best advice I could give is to make the absolute most of your experience and get involved with organizations you feel connected with, no matter how nerve-racking it might be to put yourself out there!

Julia Post: Hey everyone! My name is Julia Post and I am a senior (1st year in my major) studying Interior Design in the College of Design. I transferred from the University of Florida during Spring 2016 semester. I was a Transfer Student Leader in Summer 2017, and really loved helping new students feel more welcome on campus and help them find a place where they felt at home here at the University of Minnesota. I was part of the Transfer Student Network last fall, and have been volunteering at the University’s Veterinary Medical Center for a little over a year.  When I’m not on campus, I hike as much as I can with my dog Rico, and love to snowboard during the winter. My biggest piece of advice for incoming transfer students is to not be afraid to explore! As transfer students, I feel like we often feel like we need to get our degrees as fast as possible because we already have credits coming in, but enjoy your time here and try something new, whether it be a class or club. I have found that the classes I took based on interest rather than requirement were some of the ones that I enjoyed the most! I was an Animal Science major for a little over a year and decided to explore the world of design and ended up absolutely loving it.  Don’t be afraid to make the most of your time here and get involved with things that you’re truly passionate about!

Emily Richardson: Hi everyone, I'm Emily! I'm a junior and I transferred from the University of Minnesota Duluth in the Spring of 2017. I originally transferred into the College of Liberal Arts as Undeclared, and then transferred into the Carlson School of Management where I am majoring in Marketing and minoring in Leadership. On campus, I am involved in Women in Business and Period.MN. This past summer, I was a Transfer Student Leader, and I really enjoy interacting with new transfer students and sharing my love for the U! In my free time, I enjoy going to Hockey games, going to cycling classes at the Recreation and Wellness Center, trying new restaurants, and listening to music. The best advice I have is to try something new and don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Although it can be intimidating, getting involved in something on campus is a great way to make friends! Also, be sure to take advantage of all the resources, opportunities, and fun events offered on campus!

Fatima Salah: I transferred to the U from Century College and I am majoring in English here. My schedule is pretty hectic this month and due to that I wasn't able to be involved with as many things as I wanted to. However, after taking a Transfer Experience course last semester, my section leader let me know of this opportunity to be a Transfer Insider so I decided to apply. Through being a Transfer Insider, I get to connect with many transfer students who are going through the same things I did when I first transferred here. The Transfer Student Network contributed largely to me adjusting here and I hope that I can do that for others as well Some advice I have for transfer students is to be more open to new opportunities and try to get out of your comfort zone once in a while. You never know where it could lead you.

Diah Swenson: Hello! I transferred from Normandale Community College in the Fall of 2017. Here at the U of M, I am pursuing a Bachelor's of Psychology with a minor in Public Health. I am hoping to go to graduate school for Physical Therapy. During my first semester at the U of M, I worked at the Recreation and Wellness Center. Shortly after, I became a Transfer Insider in Orientation and Transition Experiences (OTE) and that led me to becoming a Transfer Student Leader. Being a Transfer Student Leader was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I loved working in OTE so much that I decided to continue my journey with them by becoming a Student Program Coordinator. Other things I am involved with include working off campus as a Character Performer at Nickelodeon Universe and volunteering at various Physical Therapy clinics. Things I like to do on campus include going to the RecWell, visiting PAWS and going to Goldy's Gameroom.  Advice: Get involved, Utilize your resources, Get to know your professors, Take chances, Step outside of your comfort zone, and Have fun. Ski-U-Mah!

Abby Zellman: Hi Everyone! I transferred from Anoka Ramsey Community College in the Spring of 2018. I am currently a junior in the College of Liberal Arts majoring in Psychology and minoring in Public Health and Neuroscience. On campus I am involved with being a Transfer Student Leader and visiting PAWS on Wednesdays. I also volunteer off campus at a hospital working with their Electrocompulsive therapy program. Some of my interests involve going and exploring the nature around us with my puppy. I also like trying new food, working out, and watching old vine threads/ referencing vines. My advice would be to try to make use of the resources that you have before it’s too late. Learning and knowing about the different resources there are can help you later when you are unsure of something you’ll know the place that you can go to get it solved. Try to push yourself and never be afraid to ask for help. Lastly, it’s perfectly okay to take a mental health day.

Tianyu Zhai: Hi everyone! I transferred from a Chinese college called Qingdao University in Qingdao, China in the Fall of 2015. Currently I'm a senior double majoring in Economics in CLA and Architecture in CDES with an English minor, and I plan to seek a master’s degree in Architecture after my graduation. Recently I worked as a Transfer Student Leader to help transfer students have a successful transition to the university. In the past, I was involved in the CLA Business Club to provide help for students who are in need of job-hunting insights and resources. Additionally, I’m heavily involved with international affairs both on and off campus as a way to connect to more international students, learn more about global issues and events, and present my Chinese culture to a broader audience base. My advice for you is to make good use of all resources on campus, in order to explore your own interests, identities, strengths and more, as well as to step out of your comfort zone and learn more about yourself and the world. College time only occurs once in your life after all!